MSF has transferred its HIV/AIDS project in Mongolia to the Mongolian Ministry of Health (MoH) and local NGOs. This brings an end to the physical presence of MSF there. However MSF shall remain registered in the country for a possible return during the 'dzud', the harsh Mongolian winter.
Although only two cases of AIDS have been officially confirmed in Mongolia, concern has been mounting over the increase in infections in neighbouring China and Russia. A study in the mid-1990s revealed a rise in the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). After the success of the programme in Russia, the Mongolian authorities asked for a similar programme centred on the capital, Ulan Baatar.
MSF launched the effort in 1999 using radio and TV spots, advertisements, an information centre and by training some 250 health workers from all 21 provinces in the country. The programme has now been passed on to the local NGOs Mongol Vision and National AIDS Foundation and the Ministry of Public Health.