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NEW APPROACHES IN TREATMENT OF CHRONIC DISEASES CAUSED BY THE HEPATITIS B (HBV) AND HEPATITIS C (HCV) VIRUSES

Sofia, July 27 2015 

Prof. R. Argirova - virologist, Tokuda hospital, Sofia 

Хроничните инфекции, причинени от вируса на хепатит В (HBV) и хепатит С (HCV) са широко разпространени в света, при хронифициране причиняват тежко протичащи и продължителни заболявания, често преминаващи във фиброза, цироза, чернодробна недостатъчност и първичен чернодробен карцином с фатален изход  и представляват огромен товар за всички здравни системи. И двете инфекции увреждат силно черния дроб и са най-честата причина за чернодробна трансплантация.
И двата вируса са хепатотропни, предават се по кръвен и полов път, но структурата, репликацията, както и  имунният отговор към двата вируса се различава съществено, а оттам – и естественият  ход на инфекцията с тези вируси  е  различен.
Погледнато от историческа гледна точка, и двете инфекции се третираха доскоро  с терапия, базирана на интерферон-алфа (IFN-alpha). Пегилираните IFNs обаче показват малка ефективност при множество странични действия. През последните няколко години се наблюдава бързо подобрение на лечението, особено на инфекцията с HCV,  при която към пегилираните интерферони се добавиха т.нар. DAAs – direct-acting antivirals. Ясно се очертава тенденция към преминаване към безинтерферонови режими.
Независимо от хепатотропността си, двата вируса се различават по вирусната си структура и стратегия на репликация, което обуславя и различаващо се терапевтично поведение. Ето някои от основните вирусологични различия между тях. HBV е ДНК-съдържащ вирус с непълна двойно-верижна ДНК, а  HCV съдържа РНК.
Жизненият цикъл на HBV (Фиг.1) започва с навлизане на вируса в клетката чрез рецепторен механизъм, следва разсъбличане (вирусът се е освободил от външната си обвивка и се превръща  в нуклеокапсид) и  вирусната ДНК влиза в ядрото на клетката.

Fig. 1

Фиг.1 Схематично представяне на жизнения цикъл на HBV (описанието в текста). Източник: www.medscape.org. cccDNA – матрица за вирусната репликация, персистира дълго време и обяснява хроничното вирусоносителство и възможността за реактивиране на инфекцията. Тя не е директна мишена на антивирусната терапия.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Third UN Conference on financing for the Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2020

LogoAddis Ababa, July 13-16 2015

The Third UN International Conference on Financing for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2015-2020 took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia between 13th and 16th of July. UN representatives, ministers, parliamentarians and representatives of civil society organizations (CSO) gathered to set the main goals for development and the means for their financing. In the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The main goals for the 2015-2020 time frame are achieving gender equality, women empowerment and ensuring access to SRHR for women and girls as a whole, as well as finding the financing for achieving those goals. In other words – according to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and its UN partners, it means access to contraception for 225 mln. women has to be ensured for the program period , as well as almost 40 bln. annually for sexual and reproductive healthcare.
The attending CSO’s main concerns are the focusing on the economical side of the matter, rather than the fact that the underlying principles of SDGs are irrevocable human rights, which they state in this declaration

The final outcome document

 

BFPA participated in the Annual meeting of the National Network for Children (NNC)

ParticipantsVeliko Turnovo, June 18-21 2015

From 18th to 21st June in Veliko Turnovo the National Network for Children (NNC) held its Annual Meeting and General Assembly. It was a dynamic, multi-layer event, which gave a chance to its over 200 participants to express themselves, to share, to learn, to establish partnerships.
 During the first two days BFPA was represented at the event by Ralitza Zgalevska who took part in the thematic working group “Child and youth participation”. The definition of CYP was established within the working group and sub-groups were formed to work on the determined priority activities. The aim of the working group is to achieve a shared understanding of CYP among the members of the Network, to elaborate a model of cooperation between the children and youth on one hand, and the NNC on the other, as well as changing the attitude of the general public towards child and youth participation.

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Low uptake of HIV testing and no HIV positivity in stable serodiscordant heterosexual partners of long-term treated HIV-infected Thais

Bangkok, June 15 2015

HIV virus

Имаме удоволствието да ви представим едно от последните проучвания с водещ автор д-р Надя Кънчева Ландолт „Слаб интерес  към ХИВ тестване и липса на разпространение на ХИВ сред стабилни серодискордантни хетеросексуални партньори с дългосрочно лечение на ХИВ (тайландци)”. През последните 7 години Надя живее в Банкок, Тайланд. В момента тя работи в HIV-NAT (HIV Netherlands Australia Thailand Research Collaboration) и е част от научно-изследователския институт към Тайландския Червен кръст по ХИВ. Основен фокус в работата й са въпроси, свързани с ХИВ, кръвно и сексуално преносими инфекции, както и въпроси на репродуктивното здраве.

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Our participation in this year edition of TEDхMladostWomen

Dr. StamenkovaSofia, May 30 2015

TED is a non-profit organization dedicated to ideas that Deserve dissemination and propagation. TED started 25 years ago as a conference in California, and grew up as global movement that supports ideas that change the world via different initiatives. The annual TED conference invites world leading minds and activists to deliver a talk not longer than 18 minutes. Afterwards their presentations are given for free to TED.com. Among TED speakers are Bill Gates, Al Gore, Melinda Gates, Jane Goodal, Elisabeth Gilbert, sir Richard Branson, Isabel Aliende, Gorden Brown, Jane Fonda and many other inspiring personalities. The annual TED conference is held in California and is aired worldwide. TEDGlobal is conducted every year in Oxford, UK. Various media TED initiatives include the TED.com, channel, where every day new TEDTalks are loaded and the Open Translation project that provides subtitles and the opportunity TEDTalks to be translated form volunteers in many languages worldwide. TED established the annual TED prize given to outstanding figures. The prize give the opportunity people to realize their ideas; TEDx, that gives to different people and/or groups to create local TEDx events under a strict license and the TEDFellows program, that helps innovators all over the world to become part of the TED community and enlarge the impact of its remarkable projects and activities.

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Together with the Roma medical students at the 89th primary school in Sofia’s Drujba district

Class photo 1 Class photoSofia,  May 11 2015

We share the event through the eyes of Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova: “The district of Drujba is far from being elite one, and so the 89th primary school does not fall into the category of the “elite” schools. They call it – you guessed it – “the Roma school”. Roma medical students had a chat with the Roma students of the school – 5th to 8th grade - on relevant topics – what their dreams are, where they would like to continue their education, what is their most wanted professional realization. Despite the school being in the capital of Bulgaria, as well as in distant rural areas, there are a lotClass photo 2 of cases of early school dropouts, early marriages and therefore lack of opportunities for further development. After the children spoke, the medical students told their personal stories. Without exaggeration and omitting the truth – “as is”, both charged and charging emotionally. “If they tell you that you are good for nothing, don’t believe them”, “At the university you’ll meet interesting people, just keep studying”, “You can do it, be persistent – if you want to become a good football player, you have to train daily, even in rainy weather. The same is with school”, “Learning new things continues throughout your life, whether you want to be a doctor, a programmer or a master chef” are just a part of the messages the children received from us. If we were able to influence the perceptions even of just one of them, we have achieved our goal…. A huge “Thank you” to all colleagues. Personally, Zlaty managed made me cry (after she began crying herself)….. and we finished the event with the film “We are not an exception” .

 

Report Card 2015 presented by the National Network for Children shows poor progress in child policies – marked “3.20”

NNCSofia, April 15 2015

For a fourth year the National Network for Children (NNC) presents its “Report Card 2015: What is the Government’s average grade for child-related policies and actions”. The goal of the document is a review of the government’s progress in fulfilling the commitments it has taken. On April 14th the Grade book was presented to minister Kalfin and other government officials at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The “Healthcare” section of the Report card was presented by BFPA’s Executive Director. On April 15th the Report Card was presented in the Museum of Sofia to media and civil society representatives. The “Healthcare” group discussion was moderated by BFPA’s Programme Manager, with which for a fourth year we demonstrated our empathy and support for the creation and the presenting of the Report Card.
218 children and adolescents had the opportunity to express their point of view about the of the commitments and recommendations in the document. They took part in four focus groups and completed an online survey. This way their opinion and the grades they put became a part of the Report Card, which for a second year gives them an opportunity their voice to be heard.
The grades for 2015 are as follows:

 General principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 3.06
 Family environment and alternative care 2.61
 Healthcare 3.31
 Education 3.62
 Justice 3.30
 Overall grade 3.20

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zero Tolerance towards Sexual Exploitation of Children

Sofia, November 13, 2019

Another meeting of the Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place on November 13, 2019 in Sofia. This is, at the same time, the first LAP meting under the project “The Ability to Change”, that builds upon a previous project “The art to inform”. The members of the group discussed opportunities to unite efforts of different organizations and institutions for advocating in area of working on prevention and on cases, connected with sexual exploitation of children. One of the main goals of LAP during the next years is to have significant contribution towards zero tolerance in the society concerning sexual exploitation of children. Numerous initiatives are to come, such as capacity building trainings as well as development and implementation of pilot small projects and field initiatives.
The work of the Partnership is supported by the OAK Foundation.

 
First coordination meeting for the “I want to know” project

 

 

 

Sofia, November 8-9, 2019

On November 8 in Sofia coordinators and service providers  from  BFPA branches in the country  gathered for an initial training about the activities of the two-year “I want to Know” project, financed by Viiv Heakthcare. The discussions included the project activities, the time schedule, target groups and access to them, specificities of working with marginalized groups, identifying the locations for each voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) action. Each coordinator made a prediction of the project activities they could do until the end of 2019 and all received the necessary informational printed materials. Individual risk assessment of the vulnerable communities and optimizing the work of BFPA  in-country were the main discussion topic during the second day of the meeting.

 
Bulgaria and North Macedonia together to support and develop the Health Mediators program

Blagoevgrad, October 7-9, 2019

Study visit of health mediators, NGO representatives and state institutions from the Republic of North Macedonia took place in October 7-9 in Blagoevgrad. The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) with the support of the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) hosted the three days visit and gave an opportunity for the representatives of HERA – Health Education and Research Association, health mediators from Skopje and Prilep and the Ministry of Health of our neighbor country to understand in details how in years was institutionalized and functions the system of health mediation in Bulgaria. Field visit to the Roma neighborhood Predel Mahala was included in the programme and the guests could see how the work of health mediators Antoaneta Eftimova and Katya Kirilova is going on everyday basis – with institutions, as well with people who need and receive their support.

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