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Partnership to Prevent HIV Among Vulnerable Russian Youth
Date:3/18/2009

USAID, HealthRight International and Johnson & Johnson formalize a partnership to prevent the spread of HIV among street children and at-risk youth in St. Petersburg, Russia.

WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A public-private partnership to prevent the spread of HIV and increase access to HIV treatment and care among street children and other vulnerable youth in St. Petersburg, Russia was announced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), HealthRight International and Johnson & Johnson at the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation today.

Estimates indicate that there are up to 10,000 street children and youth in St. Petersburg, many of whom struggle with substance abuse and other risky behaviors. Studies demonstrate extremely high rates of HIV transmission (37.4%) among this group, who have limited access to clinical treatment and care.

With support from USAID's Russia program and Johnson & Johnson, HealthRight International (formerly Doctors of the World-USA) together with its local partner, Doctors to Children, will reach 500 vulnerable youth with effective HIV prevention messages and a broad continuum of services, including mobile voluntary testing for HIV and referrals to treatment and care. The project will also develop a cadre of social workers trained in HIV prevention among street youth and disseminate a package of HIV prevention best practices to government institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across St. Petersburg.

"We are very pleased to join Johnson & Johnson and HealthRight International in a partnership to reach the most vulnerable youth with critically needed HIV prevention messages and services," said Leon Waskin, USAID's Director in Russia. "This initiative builds on a previous collaboration that has demonstrated the impact we can achieve when we combine our resources a
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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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