IKHLAS Programme: Drug Users

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Who We Are

Until September 2013 Ikhlas is one of the 5 programmes at PT Foundation. Ikhlas was founded in 1992 to address the pressing needs of the street based drug user community. Ikhlas caters for their physical needs, while being committed to providing information, materials, care and support services relating to HIV/AIDS & drug use.

Most importantly, it is at IKHLAS that many drug users feel loved and cared for, and feel empowered to make something of their lives, including reducing their exposure to HIV infection.

The drug user community, most of who are street based, seeks refuge at IKHLAS in the day time, whereby nutritional meals are provided, and basic first aid facilities operated by a qualified nurse are available free-of-charge. A full list of the services offered to our clients in the IKHLAS programme can be found below.

The IKHLAS Drop-in Centre is run by 14 staff members and a team of volunteers. The Drop-in Center sees an average of 100 people per day, and in 2009 had contact with over 20,000 people through our DIC and outreach combined.

In 2013, the IKHLAS programme was successfully registered as Pertubuhan Kebajikan Komunity Ikhlas (PKKI) and began operating independently from PT Foundation from July 2013 onwards. PT Foundation is proud to have pioneered and developed this programme to where it is today.

What IKHLAS Want To Achieve

  • To help minimize the rate of infection of HIV/AIDS amongst the drug user community
  • To help provide care, support and improve the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS
  • To help reduce discrimination of the community based on ignorance and a lack of information
  • To create an enabling environment for supportive policy, legal and social environment
  • To reduce stigma and discrimination against drug users by creating awareness and understanding to our stakeholders, the public, and the media

How We Help The Drug-User Community

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PT in the Drug-User Community

The most effective way to access hidden populations who inject drugs is by taking interventions to those in need through outreach. Outreach has shown to be effective in reaching a larger proportion of the injecting community over a short period, especially when people with experience of illicit drug use are employed as outreach workers. It also helps to develop trust, addresses immediate needs, and to link drug users to services which reintegrate them into the community through a series of staged phases. Outreach serves as an important tool for information gathering and as well as giving PT Foundation a realistic understanding of the diversity of drug users’ needs and priorities. At PT Foundation, our ultimate goal is always to reduce the HIV infection rate.

Due to the increase of HIV prevalence among injecting drug users, there was an implementation of Harm Reduction Program in 2005 . In March of 2006, Ikhlas started with the Needle and Syringe Exchange Program, and since then has worked very seriously to provide clean needles as well as information and education surrounding the issue. In 2009, through our outreach, we handed out over 85,000 clean needles.

Ikhlas Outreach services will be carried out 5 days a week (Monday to Friday). The duration of service provision is around 9.30am to 3.30pm on each outreach. The 6 Ikhlas Outreach Workers find and contact injecting drug users to provide information, and strives to help reduce the infection of HIV/AIDS (NSEP).Other objectives of outreach are to provide education about HIV/AIDS and HIV testing (VCT), in addition to providing education on drug use and services linked to drug treatment and other health care programs.

Drug-user Community Comes to PT

Through our outreach we make contact with thousands of community members and inform them about PT Foundation and our various services and programs we have to offer, with the hope that they will utilize our offerings. Our Drop- In Center is a safe space where over 100 clients a day come to rest and be in the company of other community members. Since many of our clients are street based, they are given nutritious meals for both breakfast and lunch, and afternoon tea. We also provide a shower and washing facility, and basic healthcare and hygiene services. In this drop-in center we have separate floors for men and women.

Clients also have full access to our resource center. We offer information for skill building, general HIV/AIDS information, and non-judgemental interventions to reduce initiation into injecting. We serve clients by offering referrals hospitals, legal aid services, and an on-site trained nurse to assist with basic health needs.

Our social support groups are designed to cater to the needs of our community members. Here at PT Foundation, we understand that as a drug user in Malaysia, there are many issues that must be addressed and discussed, so we provide platforms that offer a safe place to discuss these issues.