Following the marking of our five years of work we will be moving to new offices, where we will continue to give support to people living with HIV. The new offices are in Šafarikova Street no 6, and are in the area of 144 m2. They will be used as our central office and for psycho-social support service for people living with HIV.
As we have finished the necessary renovations we started working in our new offices. So we invite all of our members, users, and friends to visit us. Welcome!
The biggest science conference on HIV/AIDS, the Sixth IAS conference, was held in Rome, Italy on July 17-20 2011. The Conference was organized by the International AIDS society. This Conference is held every two years, and attracts over 5.000 delegates all over the world. It is a unique opportunity for the leading scientists, clinicians, public health experts, and representatives of the HIV community to meet and learn about the newest researches and views on how science progress can effect the global response to HIV.
During the conference, protests were organized against the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi because Italy didn’t pay its contribution to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
We had a representative of the Q-Club, Nada Micic, participating in the conference.
Training for activists, ARV therapy and advocacy took place in Bucharest, Rumania, on July 8-10 2011. The conference was organized by EATG (European AIDS Treatment Group) with the goal to increase literacy on use of ARV therapy and advocacy. The training was done by EATG trainers, with various methods of presentations and workshops. There were twenty participants from the South-East European region, and on this training we had a great opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas on cooperation on new projects and activities.
We had a member from Q-Club, Nenad Petkovic, taking part in this training.
The kick-off meeting for the NeLP – Network of Low Prevalence Countries, was held in Budapest, Hungary, on June 25-27 2011. This was the meeting of representatives of non-government organizations working with HIV/AIDS from 14 countries of Central and South-East Europe, and the goal of the meeting was starting the network of activists and organizations in the countries of with low HIV prevalence.
A very significant result of the meeting was compiling of the Declaration of minimal standards in therapy, care, prevention and legislation. As most of the partner countries share a similar situation regarding HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and legislation, and life of PLHIV, initiative such as NeLP could help organize international efforts to better the conditions in all of the partner countries.
A website of NeLP will be made immediately following the meeting, and its purpose will be to show the statistical data from every country. It will also promote the Declaration.
The next meeting is planned for October 2011, and will take place in Belgrade.
Representative from the Q-Club was Nenad Petkovic. The meeting was organized and supported by the Hungarian Civil Society Union, EATG and Open Society Institute Program East to East.
Representatives of PLHIV organizations and doctors working with HIV/AIDS took part in the study visit to Warsaw – to the Polis organization SKA. The visit for our representatives was supported by the Global Fund Project of the Ministry of Health.
One of the aims of this visit was introduction of the Polish system and function and organization of DPST centre (centers for voluntary and confidential counseling and testing). All the DPST centers were organized and managed by non-government organizations for both prevention and support to PLHIV.
Poland is a place for patients to get treatment in every part of the country, regardless of where they live, which is a positive example for the rest of Europe, but it also makes life of PLHIV much easier. This is particularly important for discretion and anonymity of the patients.
Poland is also an example of a country that dedicates a larger portion of its budget for medicine procurement, and the funds are more effectively distributed according to needs of patients. There were some issues on procurement of tests and therapies, but they are being ironed-out at the time.
Particularly surprising was lack of discussion about discrimination and violations of rights of PLHIV, and we could almost get the impression that there weren’t any. There were some reported cases of such discrimination, but they provoked no organized response – which would be expected from a member state of the European Union.
Study visits such as this one are extremely useful for learning about existing practices all over the World, which could be adapted and used to better treatment and general position of PLHIV, in Serbia as well.