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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

BFPA starts working on a new project – ARIE - supported by the ERASMUS+ program

Sofia, March 2021

The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) is a partner in the first European project that encourages People Living with HIV (PLHIV) to implement regularly a system of aerobic exercises. The project was supposed to start in the beginning of 2020 but the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the start with one year. So ARIE will be implemented in 2021 and 2022, coordinated by ANLAIDS Lombardia  - an organization that was a partner of the Association under other projects  - for HIV  prevention, for creating an online informational system for Hepatitis B and C and for cervical cancer prevention. We are partners from  6 countries (Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia), 7 organizations and over 30 experts. ARIE is an ambitious project to encourage participation in sports and physical activity of people living with the HIV infection and are on therapy, in line with EU recommendations and guidelines on physical activity.
The project intends to promote physical activity in the form of personalized paths, among people aged between 18 and 50 who live with HIV infection and who are under treatment, offering an innovative fitness protocol, and in order to involve them in moderate physical activity. Therefore, the project through the development of the protocol aims to promote voluntary activities in sport, together with awareness of the importance of physical activity for the benefit of health through greater participation in sport for all.
 
Online Meeting of LAP in Seeking Different Approaches to Work with Young People

Sofia, February 24, 2021

Another online meeting of Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place on February 24th, 2021. The participants – guest colleagues from Center for Study of Democracy (CSD); representatives of BFPA, Know How Center for Alternative Care of NBU, BYRC, SAPI, Re-Act Association, ASC Foundation, NNHM and IOM – reviewed the progress of implementation of the so called ‘small projects’ in the frame of LAP. The short video representing the work of LAP was discussed and approved for use.
The special guests of the online meeting presented the campaign ‘Find Another Way’, directed against radical messages and actions of young people in internet. Safe Internet Center and Center for Study of Democracy, worked on the initiative for three years, presented results and conclusions from their online communicational campaign.
The main target groups of the project were young people 14-19 in Bulgaria. Their main goal – prevention of violence, connected with the extreme-right messages and reducing the vulnerability of young people towards extreme-right messages and propaganda. From CSD strived to work for reducing anti-minority attitudes and messages and violence against minority groups, they tried to present other, different points of view and to involve young people in constructive alternative causes via narratives for stimulating critical thinking and identifying fake messages.

 
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.

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