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Penitentiary Initiative - Ukraine



Penitentiary Initiative (PI) is a community-based organisation that advocates for HIV prevention in prison settings and provides access to treatment and diagnostics for prisoners living with HIV. The organisation also provides psychosocial support for prisoners who use drugs and men who have sex with men (MSM), while building tolerance towards these vulnerable groups among prison inmates and staff. Penitentiary Initiative is the sole provider of such services for over 2,500 prison inmates located in the Nikolaev region, playing a significant role in delivering HIV-prevention information to this community. The initiative operates in six prisons, running support groups for people living with HIV and people who inject drugs, supporting self-help groups for people living with HIV, offering voluntary testing and counselling, providing psychological and legal counselling and peer counselling, training prison inmates in outreach work as peer educators, distributing condoms and informational material, and conducting training for prison inmates and staff.  Penitentiary Initiative has developed an effective model of integrated services for HIV-positive inmates in the context of under-resourced prisons and is able to reach about 400 prisoners living with HIV per year. 

2834264_consultation with a specialist from aids center
2834265_peer group training
2834266_training for prison inmates and staff
start stop bwd fwd


Profile in Brief
Penitentiary Initiative
Non-Governmental Organization
Field of Work
Treatment, Care and Support
Harm Reduction
Stigma and Discrimination
Human Rights
Populations Served
Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)
Prison Staff and Guards
7 full-time, 8 part-time, 5 volunteers
  • Since the start of antiretroviral therapy implementation in prisons in Ukraine in 2006, the Penitentiary Initiative has actively participated in developing and adjusting a mechanism of efficient interaction between penitentiary authorities, AIDS Centers and non-governmental organisations to provide antiretroviral treatment continuity and meet the needs of people living with HIV in prison settings.
  • Developed a model of integrated services for inmates living with HIV in Ukraine‘s chronically under-resourced prisons. Its programmes are based on a project team usually consisting of a specialist from the Regional AIDS Center, a medical assistant, a psychologist, a social worker, and the peer consultants.
  • Advocacy for prisoners‘ access to HIV treatment, care and support at national, regional (through the Regional Coordination Board on HIV/AIDS), and local (work with prison medical and non-medical personnel) levels.
  • In August 2009, the Penitentiary Initiative conducted the first ever two-day national seminar for health workers focused on MSM inmates living with HIV. MSM support groups (14-17 people each) now function in 5 prisons in three regions of Ukraine.


  • State Department for Execution of Punishments
  • Office of the State Department for Execution of Punishments in Nikolaev Region
  • Nikolaev Regional AIDS Center
  • Department for Family and Youth Matters of the Nikolaev Regional Government
  • Nikolaev Association for Gays
  • Lesbians and Bisexuals (LIGA)
  • Insight Foundation
  • Anti-AIDS Foundation
  • Preodoleniye (Overcoming)
  • Movement in Support for Ex-prisoners of Ukraine
  • New Century Foundation


Website: http://www.noomd-pi.org
  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone:  380512370549
49 Bolshaya Morskaya St., of. 67
Nikolaev Region 54030