Conference on the occasion of International Human Rights Day

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Conference „Establishing a National Mechanism for Monitoring Implementation of UN Commission on Human Rights” was organized by the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Republic of Serbia in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the “Amphitheater” Conference Hall of the National Bank of Serbia on Tuesday, December 10 2013. The occasion of the conference was marking the International Human Rights Day, and presenting of the mentioned Mechanism.
The Conference was organized with the support of representatives of public institutions, embassies, civil society organizations and others.
Dr Suzana Paunovic, Head of the Office for Human Rights opened the conference, and congratulated to everyone the Human Rights Day with a wish that human rights be discussed more often and the awareness on respecting human rights reaches the highest possible level.
Other speakers on the Conference were:
Ms. Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, who addressed the auditorium via a video presentation,
Ms. Gordana Stamenic, State secretary in the Ministry of Justice
Ms. Irena Vojackova Sollorano, UN Resident Coordinator Serbia, & UNDP Resident Representative
His Excellence, Mr. Michael Davenport, Chief of the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia
Main subject for the Conference were human rights in Serbia, improvements in respecting human rights, harmonization of laws and bylaws, and successful implementation of recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee.  
In early 2013, Serbia entered the second cycle of the Universal periodic review. One of the UN Human Rights Committee recommendations which Serbia adopted pertained to establishing mechanisms for monitoring implementation of other recommendations, in order to follow the implementation and effect of the policies and measures adopted with the goal of promoting rights equality and non-discrimination of all citizens. In order to achieve that the Office for Human and Minority Rights, along with relevant ministries, and with support of UN in Serbia, defined a model for monitoring presented on this Conference, which will then be sent to the Government of Serbia for adoption.
Adopting this mechanism is of paramount importance for further future of Serbia, and for opening further dialogues for entering European Union. As the dialogues are expected to be opened on chapter 23, relating to the legal system and human rights, Serbia need a mechanism which will contribute to complete implementation of laws and policies in this area, and to realize institutional capacities at our disposal, and in the context of human rights.
In her closing words for the conference, Dr. Paunovic invited representatives of relevant institutions and civil society organizations to review the mechanism and send any comments they may have to the Office for Human Rights.
You can download the mechanism here.

Public lecture “HIV is Not Visible”


 Public lecture “HIV is Not Visible” took place on the School of Medicine of the Belgrade University on December 2nd 2013. This public lecture was organized by the Student Parliament of the School of Medicine and Q-Club, in association with the Center for Public Health of Belgrade and the Clinic for Infectious diseases on occasion of marking the World Aids Day.

The lecture had a comprehensive approach to HIV, talking about prevention and HIV testing, psychological aspects of being HIV positive or living with someone who is HIV positive, role of the communities, living with HIV, HIV treatment, adherence and challenges, and it was prepared for undergraduate students interested in the topic. The lecturers addressed students both as future medical experts who will deal with issues of HIV in their practice, but also as young people who are sexually active and who should keep their health in mind.
Lecturers for this lecture were Dr Biljana Begovic-Vuksanovic, from the HIV/AIDS prevention department of the Center for Public Health of Belgrade, Jelena Zulevic, psychologist on the Clinic for infectious diseases in Belgrade, Rade Kuzmanovic, activist of the Q-Club, and Nada Micic, president of the Q-Club, and were moderated by Bratislav Prokic from the Q-Club. The lecturers had support from Prof. Dr Djordje Jevtovic, Head of the HIV department, and professor at the School of Medicine.
Many of the students had an opportunity to learn new things about aspects of HIV, and had numerous questions for the lecturers. We hope this is the first of many successful cooperations between the prestigious Faculty and HIV civil sector. 

Night-Time HIV Counseling and Testing in front of Belgrade Gay Clubs

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 Q-Club, along with the Rainbow Association and the Center for Center for Public Health of Belgrade, organized a series of night-time counseling and HIV testing in front of Belgrade gay clubs on November 29 and 30, 2013. The HIV testing was implemented on occasion of the European HIV Testing Week and the World AIDS Day, and as a part of the project “Reduction of HIV transmission and support for GMT”. The Testing was done in front of clubs Apartment, Smiley and Mystique from 22h to 2h on both evenings.

The testing sessions were very successful with a massive turnout of people wanting to check their health and to learn about HIV prevention. As a part of this action testing vouchers were distributed in these clubs and these vouchers could be used during the forthcoming testing activities done by the Q-Club and in the  Center for Public Health of Belgrade.

Marking the world AIDS day Republic Square

A public event on the Republic Square was organized to mark the World AIDS day on Sunday, December 1st. Civil society organizations gathered on the Square between 13 and 16 hours, put up stands and distributed informational and educational brochures and leaflets and condoms to passers buy. Q-Club was one of the organizations with a stand, and activists of the Q-Club talked to passers by about prevention, adequate condom use and about socio-medical aspects of living with HIV. Particular attention was given to promoting testing programs, and referring people to the existing voluntary, confidential and anonymous counseling and HIV testing.  
The World AIDS day is has been celebrated world-wide on December 1st since 1988. The red ribbon is a symbol of the struggle and the solidarity established on 1991, while the UNAIDS begun on 1996. 
There are between 110 and 130 new people living with HIV discovered in Serbia every year. At the moment there are 1808 registered people living with HIV, and according to UNAIDS estimates there are at least as many people not knowing their HIV status. Due to late testing even one third of people find out about their infection late, in the terminal phase of the infection.

Press Conference ”Living With HIV”

Due to the forthcoming World AIDS Day, Press conference ” Living with HIV” took place in the great conference hall of the Belgrade Media Center, today at 11. The topic of the conference was life with HIV and HIV treatment in Serbia and the general national HIV response. Dr Drgoslav Popovic, Project Manager of the Topic Group of UNAIDS, Prof. Dr Dragan Ilic, director of the Public Health Institute ”Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut”, Dr Dragan Delic, director of the Clinic for Infectious and tropical diseases of the Clinical Center of Seriba, Mr. Boris Kovacic, president of the Stav plus association, Mr. Karlo Boras, executive director of the Youth of JAZAS, and Mr. Bratislav Prokic, program development manager of the Q-Club talked on the Conference.
The participants presented the current situation regarding the HIV epidemics in our Country and discussed the challenges to treating HIV infection, such as the problem of about 10% of patients lacking adequate therapy. They also presented the problem of stock-outs of medicines and diagnostics without which it is not possible to provide adequate medical treatment of patients living with HIV. Bratislav Prokic from the Q-Club stressed that there were not new medicines introduced to the positive A list of the Republic Healthcare Fund since 2004, and that the Clinic Center doesn’t get enough basic diagnostic tests as well as medical equipment like test tubes and diapers. He concluded that the current hot spot of the epidemics can easily spread like wildfire due to irresponsible work of the relevant institutions.

Five year report