UNI -- a project aiming to help hundreds of men of sexual and gender diversity through peer-led promotion of engagement in HIV care -- launched in Shymkent, Kazakhstan.
Pictured above, Summer 2019 UNI Intervention Training participants in Shymkent, a UNI Project study site.Front Row (left to right): Ferangiz Hasanova, UNI Research Assistant - Shymkent Office; Gulnara Zhakupova, UNI Project Director; Valeriya Davydova, UNI Research Assistant - Shymkent Office; Karina Alipova, UNI Site Coordinator - Shymkent Office; Farruh Aripov, UNI Clinical Coordinator - Shymkent Office // Back Row (left to right): Syrym Omirbek, UNI Research Assistant - Almaty Office; Olga Balabekova, UNI Research Assistant - Almaty Office; YG Lee, UNI Project Coordinator; Vitaliy Vinogradov, UNI Project Director.
UNI is a social network-based intervention designed to allow men of sexual and gender diversity to share and promote health within their personal social networks. These men themselves are experts in how and from whom to find safe, compassionate care, and will collaboratively explore ways of sharing their knowledge with others. UNI will engage over 1,000 men of sexual and gender diversity in three of the largest cities in Kazakhstan. This month, UNI launched in its second city, Shymkent.
To prepare for the launch, UNI held a five-day training session with future facilitators. Above, UNI Project Coordinator Vitaliy Vinogradov is role-playing as an intervention facilitator. The rest act as intervention participants. Specifically, Vitaliy is facilitating the Social Media App game, which tests participant knowledge of popular social and sexual networking apps in Kazakhstan.
Below, UNI Project Director Gulnara Zhakupova (CSSW MSW '16) is also role-playing as an intervention facilitator, while the others act as intervention participants. Gulnara is introducing the principles of Social Marketing, which leverages marketing principles for social change.
Below, UNI Almaty Office Research Assistant Syrym Omirbek is role-playing as an intervention facilitator. Here, Syrym is showcasing a local public health campaign poster promoting STI testing, and, together with the group, discussing its Social Marketing impact.