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News

How we celebrate the day of love and wine

Pleven medical studentsSofia-Pleven, February 14, 2018

BFPA traditionally supports different events which mark Feb 14 – the day of people in love and of wine. This is a good day also to talk about prevention, especially with the mood of forthcoming spring and rejuvenation. Valentine gifts go traditionally well with a condom and a health-related message. That is why on Valentine’s day in Pleven our partners – the young people from the Association of medical students held a campaign in the city centre and the shopping malls. They presented a selection of BFPA’s informational materials together with Sexwell condoms as a part of our Condom with a cause/Use your head campaign. Everyone had the opportunity to take a photo in a special big Valentine photo-frame.  
Along with such traditional, yet joyful events at different locations all over the country, BFPA proudly presents the second article from the series, elaborated in cooperation with the “Hope against AIDS” foundation in the AIDS Press blog. The first article came out on an important date for prevention of HIV prevalence – December 1st. It’s logical to continue with the second article on another important date. The subject is more than fundamental – the narrative concerns the 37-year-long history of AIDS in Bulgaria and is about the communication deficiencies and how they affect the correct understanding and dissemination of information which leads to misunderstanding and problems.

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For the civil society

Позиция
на
Българска асоциация по семейно планиране и сексуално здраве

До всички български граждани

Уважаеми дами и господа,

Настоящата позиция на Българска асоциация по семейно планиране и сексуално здраве (БАСП) не е непременно и единствено свързана с фанатичните и фантасмагорични изказвания и публикации от началото на годината насам около понятието „джендър”. БАСП е организация, която работи основно в областта на здравето – превенция, тестване, лечение и пренасочване за редица сексуално и кръвно преносими инфекции, включително ХИВ, повишаване на информираността сред населението по теми, свързани със сексуална експлоатация, превенция на трафик и насилие. Разбира се, особено съществена част от нашата работа е свързана с въпросите на семейното планиране - дейностите ни са насочени основно към общности със затруднен достъп до здравни грижи, необхванати от здравноосигурителната система, като дейността ни е свързана с гинекологични прегледи, контрацептивно осигуряване, превенция на рака на маточната шийка и рака на гърдата, както и общи консултации, проследяване на бременности и насочване към допълнителни услуги в областта на асистираната репродукция и превенцията на стерилитета.

Нашите наблюдения и проучвания, опитът ни на терен от 25 години насам, свързани със семейното планиране и с изграгждането на общностен капацитет, недвусмислено показват, че България е в тежка демографска криза. Тази криза е свързана с огромен брой емигранти в репродуктивна възраст, както и със засилените темпове на урбанизация. В същото време преработвателните предприятия, особено в селските райони, не са достатъчно като брой, нито пък получават съществена помощ за развиването на други външни пазари. В резултат се наблюдават процеси, особено сред уязвимите общности, на връщане към предмодерни отношения, които често са в разрез с общоприетите ценности на българското общество.

Това включва практики, които са далеч от идеята за отговорно родителство, като отпадане от училище, ранни бракове, нарушаващи правата на детето, както и включването на децата в различни форми на експлоатация. Тези явления нарушават идеала за хармоничност на семейните отношения, достойство и взаимно уважение между мъжете и жените. Засилват се тенденциите за неравенство на първо място в семейството, а след това в отделни групи от населението. Това отношение между мъжете и жените прави непълноценни междуличностните отношения и ограничава обществената изява, задълбочавайки допълнително процесите на бедност.

Историческата традиция на страната ни показва, че начините за преодоляване на тези негативни тенденции са свързани както със заетост, така и с образование, основано на ценността на равноправието. Всъщност образованието в такива ценности е истинска инвестиция в бъдещето, създава условия за свобода на избора и реализация. Такава политика е основана на здравия разум, но е и национално отговорна.

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A lot has been said about the Convention, and nothing about the women and children, victims of violence

Sofia, January 19, 2018 

Nearly 200 NGO’s, supported by academics and citizens, unite in support of the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul convention) with an open letter:
It would be funny if it wasn’t so cruel. That is how we console each other – we, the people who are not indifferent to day-to-day abuse and who for over twenty years support women, brutally beaten by their husbands and partners, help children who have suffered unthinkable forms of violence, work on legislature changes and improvements so we can save human lives. Because for us every person saved from a life of violence is a huge victory. That is our cause.
A lot of quite outrageous things have been said about the Istanbul convention, but no one mentioned the purpose of the document – namely, the women and children who are victims of violence. No political party or organization mentioned the woman from Okorsh, beaten with a hot plate. The woman from Haskovo, beaten to death. The stabbed woman from Sofia. We did not discuss the babies and children whose mothers live in constant fear for their own lives. Etc, etc….. The political and power confrontation is at the expense of the already dead women. At the expense of Elena and Viola.  At the expense of the children who will live their lives without a mother and with the nightmares of abuse and terror. At the expense of each 1 out of 3 women in Bulgaria, victim of domestic violence whose story does not reach anyone, let alone the media.  At the expense of women seeking help and it is refused to them because “it’s their own fault”. At the expense of those 70% of students between the ages of 13 and 16 who know personally a victim of domestic violence.
The situation benefits the perpetrators. It benefits those who think they have the right of ownership over their wife and children. It benefits those who beat, violate, abuse, isolate, stalk and finally kill their wife or partner. 

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BFPA at 25: Prevention, Education, Health Services, Information and Advocacy

BFPA teamSofia, December 13, 2017

Colleagues, young people, volunteers, friends and partners gathered at December 13, 2017 to celebrate together the 25th Anniversary of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA).
”People are our most valuable and precious resource”, shared Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova, BFPA Executive Director. “During the years of our existence we have realized more than 70 macro projects; over 1 million and 500 thousands people received by us health services, informational materials or had been included in trainings and reached by campaigns. During our work we were the first that introduced the interactive methods of training – highly effective for working with different target groups, including in multiethnic environment. Also we introduced in our country the criteria of quality of services and the concept of youth friendly services. We have piloted and we currently use the peer education model, applied also by many other partnering institutions and organizations working with teenagers and vulnerable communities. The concept of mobile services provision in the area of sexual and reproductive health in regions with difficult access is also our achievement.”
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BFPA presents AIDS Press: HIV/AIDS – How do we Talk and Think, What do we Do on the Topic

AIDS PRESS LogoSofia, December 1, 2017

Nowadays more than ever there is a need to think on how we talk on HIV and AIDS, how media deliver messages and how we behave towards people, living with HIV. The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) challenges everyone: let’s think about how PLHIV bear the stigmatization, still present from the previous time inertia. The science is developing and progressing in its discoveries and this happens including in the area of researches concerning HIV. The HIV-infection today is treated as a chronicle disease. But insufficient information, not fully understanding of the specifics of HIV/AIDS by everyone, even by health professionals are a barrier on the adequate attitude and understanding of the issue.

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BFPA’s activities on World’s AIDS Day

Sofia, November 23 – December 3 2018

Between November 23rd and 30th for a sixth consecutive year took place the European testing week, in which BFPA has participated from the very first year. The aim of the campaign is as much people as possible to be encouraged to know their HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C status and respectively either start therapy and/or to be informed about the risks of infection and how to avoid them. This year besides HIV and Hepatitis B and C, BFPA also implemented testing for syphilis as well as dissemination of free condoms, donated to the association by Durex Bulgaria. At BFPA’s medical center were performed a total of 75 tests - 29 for HIV, 15 for Hepatitis B, 15 for Hepatitis C and 16 for syphilis. 749 national and multinational organizations from all over Europe participated in the testing week this year, 16 of which from Bulgaria. 
On December 1st, the global day for battling HIV/AIDS, BFPA traditionally implements and supports different AIDS-prevention related activities and campaigns. Since the day itself falls on a weekend, some activities and campaigns were held during the weekend, some - on November 30th and on December 3rd.

 
Voice it 2018 – Let’s listen to the voice of children

Sofia, November 20, 2018

On November 20th, 29 years ago, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was accepted – a fundamental internationally recognized document which helps to create and develop adequate modern policies for improving the children’s well-being. To honour its ratification every year the members of the National Network for Children (NNC) organize public events to support child participation and help for the opinion of the young people to be heard. The name of the event announces it – it’s called Voice It. This year the topic of the event was chosen by the adolescents themselves and it concerns health and sexuality education. Location: the Largo in the heart of Sofia. Here are part of the musts and discussion topics: The need for health and sexuality education to be part of the school curriculum. When and where should the subject be presented, who should present it and not least – Why it is important for young people to have knowledge on all topics related to reproductive health? The topic was chosen by young people from Megaphone that were part of the panel and answered questions in connection with the forum topic, including prevention of trafficking, prevention of internet bullying, youth volunteering.

 
Premiere of BFPA’s short video on puberty at a peer ToT training

Plovdiv, October 29-30, 2018

One of the main modules of the two-day training of young peer educators in Plovdiv was on puberty and growing up, during which for the first time  was presented BFPA’s short film on puberty, made as a part of the project “The Challenges of Growing Up”, funded in the frame of Lidl Bulgaria’s “You and Lidl for a Better Life” initiative. After watching it, the young participants in the training who were from three Plovdiv and three Sofia schools, plus the young volunteers of Red Cross Youth in Plovdiv, Haskovo and Pazardjik shared their impressions and recommendations, as part of an open discussion and filling a prepared in advance questionnaire. Among the main recommendation was the film to also be shown to parents and to start showing with younger children around 5th grade. They see the video as a good starting point for an educational discussion and thus will be good for a start. The rest of the training modules included contraception, hygiene, STI and HIV prevention, family planning, communicational skills and team-building, and there were a lot of questions, comments and discussions. The BYRC volunteers who attended the training supported with up-to-date statistical data about hygiene, HIV statistics in Bulgaria, health messages and campaigns.

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