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This article explores the main actors in HIV/AIDS policy-making, their interests, support and involvement and their current ability to set the agenda and influence the policy-making process.Fifty-four semi-structured interviews were conducted in the autumn of 2011, complemented by a review of policy documents and secondary sources on HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan.The article also carries lessons for other low- and middle-income countries, in particular those that are heavily dependent on international donors.Our study followed the stakeholder analysis approach, which seeks to gather knowledge about policy actors and their interests, their formal and informal relationships, the distribution of power, as well as the degree of influence and available resources.Amnesty International welcomes today’s signing into law of the bill ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) without reservations by the President of Kyrgyzstan, Sooronbay Jeenbekov.The bill will enter into force in ten days after publication.Although many ministries and administrations develop and implement their own internal normative acts related to HIV/AIDS, the main programme that guides all major efforts and sets targets in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care is the State HIV/AIDS Programme (Aidarov 2007).
Throughout Central Asia, the incidence of HIV/AIDS has increased notably during the 2000s and Kyrgyzstan is no exception.
For example, in 1997–98 articles on voluntary sex work and sexual contacts between men were removed from the Criminal Code, while in 2007 the amounts of drugs and psychotropic substances that individuals could possess without facing criminal charges were increased, aiding HIV prevention efforts among injecting drug users (Aidarov 2003; Jogorku Kenesh 2012; MOH 2012; SSDC 2013).
This progress is partly due to the global commitments Kyrgyzstan has entered, as it is a signatory of a number of international agreements on HIV/AIDS, including the 2001 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the 2004 Dublin Declaration on Partnership to fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia (Murzalieva 2007).
Over the years, Kyrgyzstan has received funding from a variety of multilateral and bilateral agencies, including the World Bank, the World Health Organization, Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
These actors not only played a crucial role in setting up and funding many HIV/AIDS projects but also helped to improve the normative and legislative basis for HIV/AIDS prevention and control efforts (CCC 2010; 2012; Bashmakova 2007).