In the Belgrade offices of the company Glaxo Smith Kline Export Ltd. the employees marked the World AIDS Day together with representatives of the Q-Club. During a brief presentation by Bratislav Prokić from the Q-Club, the employees of the company could learn more about lives of people living with HIV in our country.
The conclusion of this presentation was that there are big problems and insufficient support in solving those problems. The participants of this event asked numerous questions which were answered by Nada Mićić, the president of our organization. „Although for most issues all it takes is good will and engagement of the community, there are still problems that require substantial help. Companies in Serbia so far didn't show significant understanding and sufficient degree of social responsibility when facing AIDS.” – stressed Nada Mićić.
We invite all members and interested parties to attend the annual General assembly meeting of the Association of Citizens Q-Club.
The session of Assembly will held on 22 12 2012 starting at 18h in the premises of the Association of Citizens "Q-Club" in Belgrade, Šafarikova 6, with the following agenda:
1. Selection of Chairperson and recording secretary;
2. Submission and approval of the annual report on the work of the Board;
3. Tasks and objectives of the Association of Citizens "Q-Club" in 2013;
All interested are invited to confirm their presence three days earlier due to space limitations.
Contact: Bratislav Prokic
A two day training: ”You have the right to have the right” was organized by the Ministry of Health of Republic of Serbia and the Red Cross. The topics of the training pertained to medical, social and legal aspects of tuberculosis. Main topics were healthcare, advocacy, and the role of the civil sector within the Global Fund Project.
From the beginning of the Global Fund project in Serbia, a positive trend of incidence decrease of people contracting tuberculoses was observed, from 37 contracted cases per 100 000 citizens in 2003, to 18 contracted cases per 100 000 citizens in 2011, which is lower than the average European rate for this disease. Diagnostic and treatment improvement projects yielded significant results as well as programs of control of tuberculoses in most at risk populations, and addressing the co-infection of tuberculoses and HIV. However, multi-resistant, and extensively resistant tuberculoses will be a big global problem for some time to come.
Although some potential vaccines and new medications have entered the clinical trial phase, so far the only really effective measures to control tuberculoses are: raising awareness, early detection and adequate treatment. It is important to address the symptoms like prolonged cough – longer than two or three weeks, or coughing out blood. Those are the signals that the patient should turn to a pulmonologist. Not everyone infected with the mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria will succumb. Even though several weeks in therapy the person with tuberculosis isn’t viral and dangerous for the environment, such people are often faced with high stigma and problems at work.
HIV is the highest risk factor for contracting tuberculosis, and almost 30% of people living with HIV die from tuberculosis. Early detection of tuberculosis in people living with HIV will increase the chances for a complete recovery. For that reason representatives of patient groups took part in this training. Representing the Q-Club was Bratislav Prokic.
We are grateful to the organizers of the training, and the lecturers. We hope to work closely in the future toward achieving our mutual goals.
The Eleventh International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV took place in Glasgow, Great Britain, on November 11-15, 2012.
The goal of this biannual congress was to provide a relevant, coherent and relevant science program which supports the newest progress and innovations in the therapeutic strategies and researches that influence HIV management.
Although HIV treatment is continuously progressing, there are still significant challenges, and like during previous congresses issues like pediatric vertical transmission from mother to child, and treatment in poor countries got significant attention. Another result of the Congress is networking of researches and assistance to civil society organizations to develop contacts with experts from all around the World. This congress is the most significant European event in the field of HIV. Special convenience during this congress is that the program is organized uniquely with just one lecture at the time, which enables everyone to follow all the lectures.
Focus this year was on issues of therapy being used as prevention and discussions on when to start with therapy. Representative of the Q-Club on the congress was Nenad Petkovic.
Verbal and poster presentations will be available on the Internet on the web address: http://www.hiv11.com/default.aspx
Civil society organizations Q-Club and JAZAS sent a proposal for amending the Criminal Code, which would de-criminalize unintentional transmission of HIV.
Within the legal reform carried out by the Ministry of Justice and Local Government, the civil society organizations Q-Club and JAZAS sent a proposal for amending the Criminal Code which would de-criminalize unintentional transmission of HIV, i.e. which would abolish criminal penalties for it, and replace them with non-criminal punishment.
Although the Criminal Code may play a limited role in seldom cases when people transmit HIV with malicious intent, we think that it is better to support and empower people living with HIV, from the very moment of establishing their diagnoses, so that even these seldom cases can be prevented. Instead of penalizing policy and criminal approach, HIV preventions needs a society based approach, where expertise and understanding of HIV will be of paramount importance. The existing criminal decrees relating specifically to HIV should be abolished in accordance with recommendations of UNAIDS.
Growing body of evidence shows that criminalization of not declaring own HIV status, and potential exposure to transmission risk, and exposure and unintentional transmission of HIV, did more damage than benefit for the public health and human rights. Better alternative for use of the criminal code are measurements for development of a supporting environment which would enable people to seek HIV testing, support and timely treatment, and feel free to declare their HIV status. The HIV pandemic is guided by the lack of diagnosing HIV infections, and not by people unaware of their HIV positive status. Nor our legal system nor our media are currently equipped well enough to deal with HIV related criminal proceedings, and the authorities should provide adequate training about HIV for the police, prosecutors, lawyers, judges, jury and the media.
Unprotected sexual relations bear many risks – both positive and negative – including the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. HIV is just one of many sexually transmitted diseases that can cause long-term damage. Singling HIV out with special legal decrees and criminal prosecution further stigmatizes people living with HIV and people affected with this illness.