The World AIDS day is heald every year on December the first. This year in Serbia the World AIDS Day is marked with the slogan „Fill the gap in knowledge, prevention and support for people living with HIV“.
National campaing in Serbia on the occasion of the World AIDS day started late-November, by taking part in the second pan-european initiative European HIV testing week, by organising actions of free rapid voluntary, confidential counseling and testing in student dormitories and in the gay community. This action is being implemented by Q-Club, Association Rainbow, Institute for public health of Serbia, Institute of public health of Belgrad, UNDP and in cooperation with other local partners. The action will continue until mid-December.
On the occasion of the World AIDS Day, Q-Club has adressed the media in order to draw public attention to problems people living with HIV face in Serbia, and to the challenges Serbia will face with the departure of Global Fund, which has until this year supported HIV related programs.
Report of on the RTS national television on HIV programs left with no support is available here: RTS news report
Report on the N1 regional television on the World AIDS Day is available here: N1 news report
Along with the traditional public forums, on the occasion of the World AIDS Day there were multiple public activities, interactive workshops on HIV in schools and faculties, services of free voluntary confidential counseling and testing for HIV were intensified in HIV centers, but also in the field where the focus were people from populations under increased risk of HIV infection.
Training “Healthcare advocacy” for member of the civil society organizations/patient groups was organized by Q-Club and Gradjanske inicijative in Belgrade from 28th to 30th of November. Representatives of 20 civil society organizations from all over Serbia participated in this training.
The goal of the training was to contribute to development of the civil society, more specifically patient groups for healthcare advocacy; to empower patient groups to form partnerships with other stakeholders in order to improve the healhcare system and to contribute to more active involvement of patients in policy making and development of standards that affect them. An additional goal was to provide information about the legal framework which regulates rights and obligations of patients, and to identify options for cooperation and joint actions.
The training was very successfull, and it was performed by trainers of Team TRI, Snežana Stojanović and Sonja Todorović. The training participans had an opportunity to learn about the advocacy process and acquire adequate skills, with a particular focus on healthcare advocacy, where most of their interests lay. On one of the sessions about the current healthcare situation in Serbia, the participants had the opportunity to talk to Dr Dragan Delić, president of the Medical Chamber of Serbia.
This project was supported by Glaxo Smith Kline company.
You can see the photos from the training on the Q-Club Facebook page.
Q-Club, Center for affirmation of positive living has during the European HIV testing week 2014, organized night time rapid HIV testing, together with Association Duga, Institute for public health of Belgrade and Institute of public health of Serbia„Dr Milan Jovanović Batut“.
The second paneuropean action European HIV testing week in 2014 was from 21st to 28th of November, with the goal of increasing availability and uptake of HIV testing and raising awareness on the need for HIV testing and advantages of knowing one’s own HIV status.
The night time testing was organized in student dormitories in Belgrade. Students had an opportunity to talk about HIV, sex, STDs, prevention, and other similar topics, and of course to get tested to HIV. In the largest student dormitory in Belgrade “Studentski grad” we organized a workshop with the students on safer sex and sexual practice.
Testing was organized in seven Belgrade dormitories, and we are very grateful to the Student Center of Belgrade, to the management and student organizations of those dormitories for support to this action. This HIV testing was the first action of its kind to be done in student dormitories.
The night time testing was also organized in cooperation with the gay community and in front of the gay clubs in Belgrade, and for these testing events we had support of clubs Smiley and Mistique, as well as support from Planetromeo.com.
Uptake of the testing both in the student dormitories and the gay community was much higher than we expected, which goes to show that such activities are needed in the future.
Testing in Belgrade was the largest, but it was a part of a nation-wide action implemented in student dormitories in student centers in Serbia, including Novi Sad, Niš, Kragujevac, Subotica, Bor, Subotica, Čačak, Kraljevo.
Rapid tests and additional funds requiered for this action was provided by Q-club with the support of international partners and thematic HIV/AIDS theme group of UNDP in Serbia.
Details about individual testing actions performed by Q-Club and photos from the testing events can be found on our Facebook page.
Q-Club (Center for affirmation of positive living) will in cooperation with Association Duga, Belgrade institute of public health and Institute of public health of Serbia „Dr Milan Jovanović Batut“ organise rapid night time field HIV testing in Belgrade between 24th and 29th of November 2014.
The night time testing will be done in student dormitories in Belgrade according to the following schedule:
During this week night time testing will also be done in front of gay clubs in Belgrade
This testing action a part of the European HIV testing week 2014, marked this year in 49 European countries between 21st and 28th of November. The strapline of this year’s European HIV testing week is “Talk HIV. Test HIV”
Serbia is one of the countries in the region with the lowest rates of HIV testing. There are 24 centers for voluntary confidential counseling and testing for HIV all across the country. However the uptake of the tests is very low due to extremely low levels of awareness about the need for testing and advantages of knowing one’s own HIV status. That has lead to about 30-50% of people infected with HIV not being aware that they are HIV positive, while about 50% of people discover their HIV status late, so they start using HIV treatment later. According to researches done across Europe 80% of new infections originate from people who are not aware of their HIV status.
The action of rapid HIV testing is also aimed to raids awareness on importance of HIV testing and knowing one’s own HIV status.
During the European HIV testing week 2014 activities of Q-Club will be promoted on the gay social network planetromeo.com
Planeromeo.com supported activities of Q-Club in the form of a free promotional banner for the website users from Serbia. This banner will present the European HIV testing week and testing done during this week by Q-Club
Kampanja Q-kluba povodom Evropske nedelje testiranja na HIV na sajtu planetromeo.com