Characteristic of program A STEP FORWARD
The programme A STEP FORWARD is based on harm reduction and low threshold philosophy. Throughout the year, it reduces risks related to injecting drug use and work in sex industry by means of outreach social work.
The programme effectively fills a gap between primary and tertiary care for clients. Contact workers work with active injecting drug users and sex workers without requiring them to refrain from their risk behaviour.
Outreach social work takes place in Nitra, Sereď and Trnava in the evening hours.
Goals and tasks
• To contribute to reduction of health and social risks arising from intravenous drug use in people living in Nitra, Sereď and Trnava and people staying in these locations by means of mobile outreach social work.
• To establish a contact and provide counseling and other services to street sex workers especially in Sereď and Trnava.
• To reduce the number of repeatedly used and shared injecting needles by distributing sterile injecting needles and other medical equipment and thus to reduce the risk of transmission of blood-borne diseases (hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, etc.) among users.
• To reduce the risk of accidental transmission of blood-borne diseases to general population by means of collection and safe disposal of injecting needles.
• To increase clients’ motivation towards improving their living condition by means of counseling.
• To help clients improve the quality of their lives by means of social assistance (contact workers accompany clients to appointments with physicians, authorities, etc.).
• To minimize the number of unprotected sexual intercourses in drug users and street sex workers and thus to reduce the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV/AIDS, etc.) among programme clients as well as from programme clients to general population.
• To enhance skills and increase motivation of contact workers by means of regular educational activities, self-study and supervision.
- exchange and distribution of equipment required for safer drug application and elimination of risk behaviour
- contact work
- social, medical and legal counseling
- basic (non-invasive) medical treatment
- information service
- motivational talks
- crisis intervention
- situational intervention
- social assistance
- food service
- injecting drug users
- street sex workers
- clients’ relatives
- expert and lay public