The Ministry of Youth and Sport responded to the initiative of the Q-club – the open letter on key problems of PLHIV in Serbia, so they invited our representatives to a meeting. We met with the Head of the Department for Youth Cooperation, Zorica labudović on February the 6th 2012.
We discussed the ways this Ministry can help in solving of the key problems. Even though this Ministry of Youth and Sport has very little jurisdiction over the healthcare system, they demonstrated willingness to give the necessary support and help with our activities directed primarily at youth.
We, at the Q-club, have had a special programme for years targeting youth living with HIV and prevention of HIV among young people, so we hope that cooperation with the Ministry will grow trough projects directed at this population.
The Secretariat for Health Care has shown considerable understanding for the problems of PLHIV, and thanks to their immediate response to the campaign of the Q-club regarding the key problems of PLHIV, we have met with the deputy secretary, dr Aleksandar Stefoski today. Nada Mićić, Nenad Petković and Bratislav Prokić represented the Q-club.
On the meeting we have discussed various possibilities of cooperation on solving the key problems of PLHIV within the capacities of the City. We have agreed to consider the options of including the Q-club into ongoing and immediate activities. And we hope that this cooperation will produce concrete results which will directly improve the social position of people living with HIV in Belgrade.
The association of people affected with HIV, Q-Club, is pointing out the pressing problems within the healthcare system, which people living with HIV in Serbia face on daily bases. The Q-Club has sent an open letter pointing out the five most pressing problems people living with HIV face, to all the key stakeholders; the problems are: failure to recognize HIV as a chronic disease, insufficient inclusion of modern drugs for HIV treatment, irregular availability of diagnostic tests, neglecting of confidentiality of medical data and discrimination of people living with HIV when providing medical services.
“According to the official data, there are about 2,500 registered people living with HIV in Serbia, although we estimate the actual number is higher, and constantly rising.” said Nada Mićić, president of the association of people affected with HIV, Q-Club.
With adequate support of the state and by enforcing the determined strategies for prevention and treatment of people living with HIV, it is possible to reduce the incidence of infection and terminal outcomes. By applying the appropriate therapy the people living with HIV can increase their life span, and the quality of their life. “It is possible to live with HIV if the illness is under control” – added Nada Mićić.
A lot of people find out their HIV status when they get stricken by opportunistic infections, due to deteriorated immunity, which decreases their chances for successful treatment. Early detection of the virus, with timely testing, as well as adequate treatment enables a longer and better life for PLHIV. By enabling stable health for PLHIV we help preserve their ability to work and to actively participate in the society.
According to Nenad Petković, the legal representative ot the Association of people living with HIV, “The Q-Club is trying to motivate the key decision makers, all relevant institutions and social stakeholders to join us in solving these problems and contribute to equal social status of people living with HIV”. In this way, by providing adequate health services and employment of PLHIV, we can decrease social costs, but also significantly influence prevention and spreading of the disease.
You can read the open letter here (in Serbian)
Jelena Duković, PR agency Executive Group
phone. +381 11 328 44 80, +381 60 707 1056
On occasion of the World HIV/AIDS Day the Q-Club has organized an educational workshop for the students of the eight grade of the primary school “Dositej Obradovic” in Belgrade. The subjects of the workshop were sexually transmitted diseases and ways of prevention, commitment to own health, and relationships with people living with HIV.
The workshop was lead by Bratislav Prokic, experienced activist and trainer on reproductive health, and healthy lifestyles. The students were very interested for subjects relating to people living with HIV. Their questions demonstrated the right capacity for understanding this subject, but also that beyond a doubt there are not enough trainings of this sort to reach all the students of primary and secondary schools.
As part of the advocacy efforts for improving the social position of people living with HIV, the Q-club was lately intensively present in the media. The main goal of our media activities this year is improving HIV treatment conditions mostly by bettering availability of tests for monitoring HIV infection and inclusion of new antiretroviral drugs, but also for raising awareness of people living with HIV. We are grateful to all the journalists and media who supported our work and to all the volunteers and activists who took part. We recommend the following:
B92-Uvećanje – In this show the prominent health journalist, Aleksandra Gazivoda presents the story of problems in HIV infection treatment
Blic (Nov. 17, 2011) – Story of a women living with HIV from Belgrade – a story that defies stigma and shines a new light on life with HIV, http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Drustvo/290037/Ispovest-Beogradjanke-zarazene-virusom-HIV-Zivot-u-lazi-je-gori-od-bolesti
Blic (Dec. 1, 2011) – Story of a young man living with HIV and successfully faces all his life challenges. http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Drustvo/292950/HIV-pozitivni-tesko-zive-u-Srbiji
RTS – Uviđај (Dec. 3, 2011) – a great episode on life with HIV seen trough stories of two people and talk with doctors and Q-club activists. http://www.rts.rs/page/tv/ci/story/17/%D0%A0%D0%A2%D0%A1+1/1002114/%D0%A3%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%92%D0%B0%D1%98.html
B92 (Dec. 1, 2011) – Serbia must be more active against AIDS – a comprehensive article about HIV/AIDS in Serbia and problems people living with HIV face.
SOS-Impuls zdravlja (Dec. 1, 2011) – Distinct show of the prominent journalist Backo Gregoric, who devotes his first December show to the World AIDS Day every year. This year his guests were: Dragan Delic - chief of medicine for the Clinic of Infectious Diseases, Jovan Ranin infectologist, Danijela Simic – chief of the National office for HIV/AIDS, Gordana Dragovic – chairman of the EACS conference in Belgrade, Katarina Mitic – chief of the Serbian Office of Global Fund, and Nenad Petkovic – executive manager of the Q-club