This manual has been developed for individual or group study by social workers participating in HIV prevention programs as well as at providing assistance to people living with HIV. The manual presents materials on the key issues which HIV vulnerable populations and people living with HIV face. Those issues are covered from the Harm Reduction strategy perspective, which is the key strategy for making an impact on the HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world.

The content of this manual has been prepared taking into account the needs of social workers working in HIV-service organizations, who normally do not possess a degree in social work and/or a degree in medicine. The manual includes materials which form the basis of contemporary social work in the area of HIV/AIDS and covers the basic medical aspects of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. After studying those materials, social workers will get the knowledge they need to better understand their clients' problems and to promptly react to their urgent needs.     

In this manual clients’ problems are presented as “Lessons”, containing informational (theoretical) part and questions for self-control (tests and ‘keys’). Each of the Lessons presents the basic facts related to the topic. All lessons are divided into 2 levels. The first level is a basic level which gives the review to those, connected with a social and medical component of service in Harm Reduction projects. The second level is lessons which provide information on the main aspects of social work with families and people who appeared in difficult vital circumstances. The topics have been selected taking into consideration specific characteristics of the projects currently implemented by International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine. At the end of this manual readers will find a list of recommended literature for each of the topics covered. It is expected that this manual will become an assistant for the social workers involved into HIV service and a reference book for people arranging social work in the area of HIV/AIDS.

Reference to any names of medications in the text of this Lesson or the Manual is not aimed at advertising those medications and is only given in order to reduce the risks and the negative consequences of injection drug use.

Social workers have no right to prescribe or recommend any medications without consulting a doctor. In this case the main aim of a social worker is support and referral of the client to a doctor/medical worker for counseling.

The range of medications prescribed by the doctor/medical worker is defined by the project and policies of the donor organization funding such project as well as the area of competence of the organization (availability of a permit to provide health-related services, availability of employed medical workers, delivery of social and medical services, etc.).


Author of the concept: Liudmyla Shulga

Authors: Liudmyla Shulga, Anatoliy Volik, Nataliya Nagornaya, Olga Burgay, Tatyana Goryacheva, Valentina Pavlenko, Tatyana Deshko, Marina Varban, Aleksandra Oksenyuk, Nataliya Tiulyeneva, Miroslava Debelyuk, Nataliya Dvinskikh, Zahedul Islam, Matt Curtis, Luciano Colonna, Aleksandr Lebega, Stas Naumenko, Irina Nerubayeva, Nikolay Pavelko, Irina Romashkan, Konstantin Talalayev, Fedor Ustinchenko, Sergey Filippovich, Aleksandra Datsenko, Andrey Khrapal, Olena Yesipenko, Olena Andrukhovych, Natalya Romanova.

Reviewed by: Yelena Kulbakh, epidemiologist at Odessa City AIDS Center

Editors: Liudmyla Shulga, Anatoliy Volik, Nataliya Nagornaya


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Technical Support Team. Program Development

ICF “International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine”

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