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HIV/AIDS AND STI

Anti AIDSThe provision of services and information related to HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) is an essential part of BFPA’s work. BFPA was a co-founder of the National Anti-AIDS Coalition which built the basis of the NGO HIV and health prevention work in Bulgaria and in its most active phase gathered more than 40 non-governmental organizations, governmental and business structures from all over the country. While executing various projects targeted towards young people and marginalized communities BFPA strengthened the existing partnerships and networking by establishing relations with other organizations acting locally in the area of HIV and AIDS.
The key projects which helped this process are:
• Social marketing of contraceptives – COOL condoms (1998-2003)
• “Do not use excuses! Use condoms!” (2001) aiming at overcoming stereotypes connected to condom usage.
• "Play in safe!" Youth Information Network which included young people from 15 locations around the country (2003-2005)
BFPA is part of the national VCT network since 2006. Since 2012, besides HIV testing and the chlamydial tests, which are set in the BFPA activities, we offer tests for Hepatitis B and C and HPV testing. Simce last year we offer a new service – testing for Syphilis, that will continue in 2019 as well as the recently started referrals for Gonorrhea and trichomoniasis. An added value in the activities of BFPA is theconnection SRH services - HIV prevention.
In the last years BFPA focused its efforts on providing adequate information and services in settlements which were poorly covered even in the period the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) was active. This includes the regions of Silistra, Montana, Pazardjik and greater Sofia region by paying attention to the most at risk groups. After GFATM's HIV prevention related activities in Bulgaria ended in 2015, the Association continues its VCT for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, chlamydia and recently for Syphilis with its own funding and efforts. With other partner organizations BFPA covered all prisons in the country with educational and VCT screening activities for prevention of blood=transmitted and Sexually transmitted infections. The deeper work in this aspect began in 2015 and continued till the end of 2016 in three selected prisons.
BFPA also supplies services concerning SRHR for People Living with HIV (PLHIV). They include gynaecological examinations, pre- and post-abortion counselling and referrals to other health specailists and health institutions for in vitro fertilization and sperm wash for discordant couples. Together with its partner PLHIV organizations BFPA is working on legislative recommendations on access to medical services and patient rights.
In 2018 BFPA team in partnership with the “Hope against AIDS’ foundation started a national Stigma Index survey towards PLHIV. Such a survey was realized by the two partner organizations in 2010 for the first time and it is time for a second round. The survey is not only done FOR PLHIV, but it is also conducted BY PLHIV. 
In 2020, 86 HIV tests, 70 for Hepatitis B, 66 for Hepatitis C and 38 for Syphilis were performed at the Health Center "MC Family Planning". Despite the decline in HIV testing due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the other types of tests have increased. Also, during the implementation of a fieldwork project in 2020, our coordinators performed about 200 HIV tests in different locations.
  

 

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Latest news

Podcast ‘Of Rights and People… Because Free People Have Rights

August, 2021, Sofia

The implemented by BFPA project ‘Increasing the capacity of the team, partners and supporters of BFPA in the field of advocacy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) ended in August 2021. It was funded by the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area.
In the frame of the project trainings and discussion meetings took place during which the team of BFPA, together with key partners and supporters, worked for enlarging the knowledge and practical skills to formulate and communicate messages, targeting different publics, and tried different ways of conducting effective dialog in public space. In parallel with this the trainings contributed for the development of analytical skills of the participants in the area of national and international legislation concerning human rights in general and with special focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights. PR and Communicative strategy for popularizing messages, connected with the implementation of the main strategies of the association was developed.

 
BFPA team in training of trainers in healthy lifestyle project for PLHIV

Timisoara, August 27-28, 2021

Representatives of seven organizations from six European countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Romania) gathered for a training of trainers in Timisoara on 27 and 28 August 2021. The training is part of the ARIE project, funded by the Erasmus+ of EU, and project main goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle for people living with HIV (PLHIV) in accordance with EU directives and guidelines, which includes healthy nutrition and physical exercises. The Directives mean that PLHIV must be taught how to perform a set of exercises tailored to their condition, whether they’re on antiretroviral therapy or not. The training in Timisoara covered all aspects - approach, physical condition, psychological attitude, the role of coaches, even first aid for the most typical fitness-related injuries.

 
BFPA study among young people: what to improve in the provision of health services in a pandemic

Kyustendil-Pernik-Radomir-Sofia, July-August, 2021

During the period July-August 2021, 42 young people from Kyustendil, Pernik, Radomir and Sofia took part in 6 focus groups in a study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of services and care in the field of sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Different groups of young people, young mothers and pregnant women were involved. Some of the groups were with participants from the Roma community.
The aim was to examine the needs, challenges and difficulties faced by young people during the pandemic and to give them the opportunity to propose ideas for improving various health services.

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