I am doing well in Almaty, though I can’t say I’ve been here much in the past month. I have been traveling with the data collection team to conduct our baseline assessment of care and treatment services in Central Asia.
I am one month into my practicum with ICAP in Central Asia and I’m enjoying Kazakhstan immensely. Having been gone from this country for two years, Almaty has changed significantly from when I was here as a Peace Corps volunteer. Due to the city’s burgeoning middle class, European-style cafes and luxury stores have popped up all over the city. The variety of restaurants, from Italian to Chinese, has also increased since I was here.
It was interesting to discover the differences in HIV treatment services in Kazakhstan and in Kyrgyzstan. One major difference is how treatment services are structured and financed at the local level. In Kazakhstan, most of the services, such as anti-retroviral therapy distribution, are provided at oblast or city-level HIV centers.