The project’s goal was to implement the effective harm reduction services for female injecting drug users and improve the quality of female IDUs’ lives, as measured by their own reports. The International HIV/AIDS Alliance adopted an approach that recognized gender roles and gendered socialization in the drug using culture and in the society without reinforcing stereotypes about women or about female IDUs. In-depth training on gender, which is a new concept for many Ukrainians, helped give providers a substantive understanding of how gender functions in the society and in their own work allow them to adjust practices of their own and those of their organizations to deal more effectively with women and avoid perpetuating negative stereotypes.
The program supported specific interventions to improve women’s access to harm reduction programs. These interventions aimed to address women’s risk reduction needs and reduce barriers to effective HIV prevention and other harm reduction services for women. The services were designed to be delivered in a physically and emotionally safe environment where women were treated with dignity and respect.
The resulting improvement of the service quality endorsed the increased project attendance by female IDUs, improved knowledge among female IDUs about risky injecting practices and sexual behavior, and advanced motivation to adopt safer practices.