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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 t
he 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. Since 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 the connection 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 gynecological examinations, pre- and post-abortion counselling and referrals to other health specialists 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.

During the implementation of a fieldwork project in 2020, our coordinators performed about 200 HIV tests in different locations. 

In 2021 under the same project 765 HIV tests, 62 for Hepatitis B, 58 for Hepatitis C and 58 for Syphilis were performed at the Health Center "MC Family Planning" and the BFPA branches in Pleven, Ruse and Stara Zagora despite the limitations due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

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Latest news

How Health Knowledge to Get to Roma Communities

Dolna Banya, July 5-7, 2022

After two days fulfilling work on leadership and advocacy with unbelievable roma young people from Lom, Dupnitsa and Byala Slatina problems in respective communities were identified. Discussions in searching the best decisions were led; image of the target groups and stakeholders was created and the needed communication skills on leading a successful campaign were discussed. Role plays, practical cases and individual video presentations with messages were commented.
The health mediators Tanya Kirilova from Lom, Daniela Ljubenova from Dupnitza and Mirena Bocheva from Byala Slatina are real mentors for the young people from the communities they work for. The three of them, together with Dr. Rada Stamenkova, Pavlina Filipova and Ralitsa Zgalevska from BFPA team actively contributed to support the motivated and well-prepared young people, enthusiastic to advocate for better health of people from their communities. In the coming months the team will continue to work on building their capacity as leaders and to help them with expertise and guidelines.

 
ARIE project coordination meeting

Ljubljana, June 24, 2022

On June 24, a reporting and coordination meeting on the ARIE project, supported by the ERASMUS+ program of the EU was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Project coordinators, from the 6 organizations from the participating countries - the project leader Italy, Lithuania, Greece, Bulgaria (BFPA is the Bulgarian project partner), Romania and the host of the meeting Slovenia. The previous activities carried out in individual countries were discussed: dissemination of the methodology and pilot training of end users – people living with HIV (PLHIV). The representatives of the individual countries talked about the difficulties and obstacles in the implementation of the activities, and then shared their successes, passing on valuable experience to the other participants. Future actions on the project and deadlines for their implementation were identified.

 
BFPA supports parents' and teachers’ communities in Pasarel in their search for the right communication channels with children and adolescents

Pasarel, June 11, 2022

The primary school in the village of Pasarel hosted a meeting between parents, teachers and representatives of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) Dr. Rada Stamenkova and Ralitsa Zgalevska on Saturday, June 11, 2022. The director Ivaylo Kiskinov and the school psychologist Nadezhda Dedova, on whose initiative the event took place, were also at the vivid discussion, planned as a two-hour but prolonged three-hours without break - there were many questions, long answers, shared opinions, personal stories, observations and experience exchanged. It was about how to talk with children for growing up before they reach puberty, how to prepare them for the changes ahead, how to stay calm and confident as they go through the challenges of this specific and difficult age; how to stay in touch with them without avoiding awkward questions and at the same time not manipulating the information they receive, together with enhancing the ability to identify fake news on Internet.

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