Q-Club is happy to announce publication of the article “Why is there no ‘day after’ pill in Serbia”, published in the latest issue of the “Optimist” magazine.
The article describes the current situation regarding post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in Serbia – describes what PEP is, explains why it is impossible to get and presents solutions for how PEP can become available for everyone who needs it.
The article is a part of Q-club’s advocacy efforts for making PEP available in Serbia.
You can read the entire article here, or on Q-Club’s Facebook page here, or in the latest issue of the “Optimist” magazine here.
We wish to remind you that Q-Club is one of the organizations where you can get the “Optimist” magazine.
Q-Club has a new Facebook page where we publish news from Q-vclub, but also other important inforamtion about HIV.
We invite all members, friends and visitors of the Q-Club website to join us on the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/QclubBelgrade, to like it and thus stay in touch with the news and information we prepare for you, and to leave a message or a question for us.
COMMISSIONER FOR EQUALITY
DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTHCARE INSTITUTIONS
BASED ON HEALTH STATUS
Center for affirmation of positive living, Q-Club announces that the Commissioner for Equality adopted two separate opinions stating that the Institute for Mental Health, Belgrade and Health Center Zvezdara, Belgrade violated the regulations on prohibition of discrimination.
In the proceedings against the Institute for Mental health (in Palmotićeva street in Belgrade) it was determined that by not providing care that included hospitalization of a patient following a suicide attempt in the Institute for Mental Health, but by providing him to another healthcare institution based on the fact that the patient is living with HIV, the Institute for Mental Health violated regulations prohibiting discrimination.
In the proceedings against the Health Center Zvezdara it was determined that by inscribing the HIV status of the patient on the physical therapy list in capital letters, underlined and in red marker “HIV infectio!”, the Health Center Zvezdara also violated regulations prohibiting discrimination.
The Commissioner for Equality has provided her opinions on those cases along with recommendations to these healthcare institutions including providing education on HIV/AIDS to the employees, respecting anti-discrimination regulations in the future and equal treatment of patients regardless of their HIV status.
Q-Club initiated both proceedings with approval of the patients, reminding that there still exists discrimination of people regarding their health status in Serbia. Discrimination occurs due to deeply rooted prejudice, generally developed out of fear, lack of knowledge or wrong information about transmitting infections or nature of the illness. There are many ways discrimination can manifest, but they unfavorably influence social inclusion of people living with those illnesses, and they include: denying the right to primary and secondary education, loss of employment and difficulty in hiring, denial of basic and emergency medical care, media campaigns and sensationalistic media discoveries of critical events involving people living with illnesses, rejection by the family, isolation within educational, penal and other institutions, insulting, derogation, physical violence and molestation of people living with illnesses.
That is why we need to work on building awareness on the nature of illnesses, prevention of discrimination and increasing tolerance for people living with those illnesses, and their acceptance as equal members of the society.
Q-Club, Center for affirmation of positive living
HIV/AIDS activists from Serbia took part in a study-visit to the Czech Republic in order to learn about the Czech response to HIV. This study-visit was organised by the UNDP and it took place from 16th to 21st of June 2014.
Within this study-visit, the participants could learn about various programs in Prague and other cities. Of particular interest were the visits to the Infectious Disease Clinic at the Bulovka teaching hospital, which is the leading healthcare institution working with HIV/AIDS since 1986, and the Prague Lighthouse (Dům světla). The Lighthouse was founded in August 1999 with the intention of helping everyone affected by HIV/AIDS – patients as well as their families and friends. They are the largest non-government and not for profit HIV testing centre, but they also provide accommodation and social services to all their beneficiaries. Significant segment of Lighthouse’s activities include fighting stigma and discrimination.
The Czech Republic and Serbia have a very similar epidemiological situation and both countries have had some good and some bad experiences. For example, VCT counselling was cancelled in the Czech Republic, which led to a significant decrease of HIV testing uptake. The non-government sector took over testing with occasional participation of medical experts, and there is insufficient attention given to training counsellors for VCCT. A significant advantage in the Czech Republic was support the government has provided for the work of NGOs. Also HIV education has been systematically implemented within the education system (155,000 children were included in the “Playing to fight AIDS”)
There were 13 participants from Serbia in this study visit. Representing Q-Club was Nikola Latković.