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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 2019 at BFPA's health centre were conducted 130 HIV tests,33 Hepatitis B, 34 Hepatitis C and 33 Syphilis tests. More than 1000 clients received counseling for STI and HIV prevention in 2019. The Association maintains the started on December 1 2017 blog – AIDS PRESS focused on media monitoring on HIV and PLHIV related issues.
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. 
  

 

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Latest news

A new project “Youth Voices, Youth Choices” of the Bulgarian Association for Family Planning and Sexual Health has been launched

Sofia, February 8-10, 2021

The first online meeting of the project “Youth Voices, Youth Choices” was held on February 8-10, 2021. The project "Youth Voices, Youth Choices" (2021-2023) is a 30-month international project implemented in Bulgaria by the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA). Partner organizations from Albania, BiH, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia will implement similar initiatives in their countries. The project is implemented with the coordinative role of the International Planned Parenthood Federation with the support of the programme for socially responsible business of the company MSD and aims to create more accessible and youth-friendly SRH services and information, paying special attention to the most vulnerable groups.

 
Public Communications – Challenges and Opportunities

Sofia, January 26, 2021

Public communications, fake news, trustful and propaganda websites for news, internet trolls, influencers, how to write attractively in social media were among the topics of online discussion for LAP members that took place on January 26, 2021. The journalist Vesislava Tancheva made an in-dept review of the topics and analyzed the possible reasons for that contemporary phenomena that are shaping the informational flow context in new online media. It was discussed how this context is being shaped by the politicians and how it reflects on everyday decisions and the life of everyone, as well on the changing policies in every area of our life and especially in healthcare and education spheres.

 
Covid-19 pandemic – analyzed and explained
Sofia, January 7, 2021
 
Online meeting with Prof. Radka Argirova, MD, leading virologist with prominent scientific and practical experience was held on January 7th, 2021. The meeting provoked interest and attracted attention of more than 80 people from all regions of the country – among them were representatives of Learning Action Partnership (LAP), BFPA staff and Management bard, NGOs, institutions, medical doctors and health mediators. The topic of the event was ‘ SARS-CoV-2 – About the Virus, Specific Diagnostics and Vaccines’ . During the more than two hours and a half lasted forum was presented a lecture including information about arising epidemics and pandemics, mechanisms of occurrence and evolution of viruses; main generally accepted facts, diagnosis and development of Covid 19. Review of the types of tests for Covid 19 was made, qualities of antigen test and types of PCR tests were discussed, as special attention was drawn to cases with false negative results, asymptomatic patients, and symptomatic patients with negative results. Special attention was also given to the different vaccines elaborated to combat the virus. Participants took the opportunity to ask additional questions after the lecture. You can listren to them in Bulgarian here
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