The biggerst medical HIV conference - the Conference of the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) took place on October 16-19 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. The first EACS conference in 1987, also took place in Brussels. EACS is a not-for-profit scientific organisation of HIV/AIDS proffessionals, currently presided by prof. Manuel Battegay from Switzerland and co-chared by prof. Fiona Mulchay from Ireland. This year EACS celebrated the 25 year anniversary. Among the regular activities, EACS organizes bi-annual science conferences, and the last conference (in 2011) took place in Belgrade.
Regional training “New Leaders” for people leading patient organizations took place in Belgrade from October 4-6. 2013. The training was organized by the Bulgarian organization “New Leaders” with significant experience on cooperation with civil society organizations, patient’s groups and associations and in international cooperation, and for this particular training they provided support from the European Patients’ Forum.
There were more than thirty participants on the training coming from the countries in the Region: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. Main topics on this training were Strategic planning and managing patients organizations, fundraising in economic crisis settings, presentation and communication skills, advocacy and lobbying and forming successful partnerships, media and public relations.
Along with very interesting lectures, the participants could exchange experiences, network and demonstrate what they have learned in creative practical exercises. Representing Q-Club was Rade Kuzmanović.
World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders took place in Rabat, capital of Morocco from October 1st to October 4th. The Summit gathered over 3000 leaders from over 100 countries, including mayors, representatives of city, local and regional authorities. “No one left behind” was the slogan of the satellite forum organized by UNDP and UNFPA, which dealt with the topics of HIV and health equality.
The most important global topic of the 21st century is the significant increase of the population living in towns and cities, which in turn increases risks for people’s health, taking into consideration significant difference in social status and living conditions. This forum dealt with municipal, local structures as well as with key actors for curbing HIV infection, particularly among key populations like MSM, sex workers, drug users and transgender people. City regions are the very hot-spots, i.e. key spots where local authorities should coordinate activities for reaching these populations.
A very important aspect was the initiative of the community that yielded significant results in high prevalence countries and/or inefficient government systems. Promotion of dialogue and partnerships between municipal authorities and the community, and capacity building were significant topics of this forum.
Jasmina Nikolic, from UNAIDS, Spomenka Ciric-Jankovic from the municipal government of Novi Beograd and Bratislav Prokic from Q-Club were representatives from Belgrade. They had an opportunity to share experiences with colleagues from South Africa, Kenya, Netherlands, and Philippines… In his introduction Bratislav Prokic stressed the role of young leaders in response to HIV/AIDS.
The European testing week will take place this year from November 22 to 29. The action should connect healthcenters, civil society organizations and decision makes across Europe toward a common goal of making more people aware of their HIV status. The slogan for this year’s testing week is ”Talk HIV. Test HIV.” and the goal is to encourage people to talk openlz about the benefits of HIV testing, empower those in increased risk of HIV and provide wider availability of testing.
The population in increased risk is the reason Q-Club joined this Pan-European action. During this week Q-Club will organize several actions of voluntery confidential counseling and testin in Belgrade. People willing to use the program of support for people living with HIV and people with increased risk of HIV.
Q-Club will provide adequate details, but if you wish to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us
You can learn more about the European testing week on their website www.hivtestingweek.eu.
Forum named ”HIV in Europe and neigbouring countries” took place In the Lithuanian maritime city of Klaipėda from July 25-27. The Forum was organized by the PLHIV Union of East Europe and Central Asia, Ministry of external affairs of Lithuania and organization ”Positive Life” (Pozityvus gyvenimas) from Klaipėda.
The forum gathered representatives of patient groups, experts and activists from Europe and Central Asia to discuss the stiuation regarding prevention and treatment of HIV. The situation in the coutrnes of the regions is dramatical, and a lot of people are impacted by it, particularly introvenous drug users, but treatment availability of HIV treatment is not proportional. The situation has become more difficult by decreased presense of the Global Fund in the countries of the region which have not yet developed capacities for a comprehensive and strategic sresponse to the pandemic.
At the end of the forum the participants prepared a declaration which will be sent to the national governments, the Global Fund and relevant bodies of the European Union, calling for dedication, cooperation and solidarity.
Representing Q-Club on this forum was Mr. Bratislav Prokic, along with two more representatives from Serbia, Mr. Vladimir Antic from the PLHIV Union, and Mr. Goran Ostojic, from the Pancevo organization Nova Plus. They visited the organization ”Positive Life” from Klaipėda, and had a chance to familiarize themselves with the work of the organization.
The forum was organized within the six-month presiding of Lithuania over European Union, and as part of marking the 10-year aniversary of ”Positive Life”. As a part of this aniversary the organization prepared a beach concert, and a voluntery testing to HIV and hepatitis in a mobile unit.