Continued Support for the Prevention, Diagnostic and Treatment for People Living with AIDS until the end of 2015
On 19th July 2013 the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has formally signed a two and a half year contract with 12 governmental and non-governmental partners (IOM, Public Health Institute FBiH, Public Health RS, Partnerships in Health, World Vision, UG Viktorija, PROI, Asocijacija Margina, AAA, Apoha, Poenta, and Asocijacija XY) in the amount of 12 million BAM, financed by Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This will ensure continued support for the prevention, diagnostic and treatment for people living with AIDS until the end of 2015, and the focus will be on the protection of the population at risk.
The programme is being implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2006 by the UNDP under the authority of the CCM for HIV and TB.
During her speech, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative of, Ms. Zahira Virani, said that, even though the number of newly diagnosed cases of HIV in BiH is relatively small (10-12 new HIV-positive per year) it is still necessary to maintain focused and sustained interventions intended to prevent the spread of HIV, especially within the vulnerable and marginalized populations. Facts show that 222 cases of HIV infections were recorded in BiH so far, while in the neighboring countries this number is much higher (1,000 people in Croatia and cca. 2500 in Serbia). This demonstrates, among other things, that existing prevention programs in BiH are very successful.
Prim. Dr. Šerifa Godinjak, Chairman of the National Coordination Body for program monitoring HIV / AIDS and tuberculosis in BiH, addressed the audience on behalf of the chair of the Advisory Committee for the Fight against HIV / AIDS in BiH, Ms. Deniza Sarajlić - Maglić, stating that the above-mentioned results of low prevalence of HIV in BiH are the direct consequence of this high-quality program implemented in BiH from 2006 until 2013. The Ministry of Civil Affairs BiH provides strong support for these activities, and in cooperation with the Health Ministries of Entities and the Department of Health of Brcko District, has successfully implemented program activities which are outlined in the strategy for the prevention and fight against HIV / AIDS 2004 - 2009, as well as in the new Strategy for HIV / AIDS in BiH 2011 – 2016.
These strategic documents, as well as supporting programs were recognized and highly rated by the EU Commission Officials at a recent conference on HIV / AIDS in Brussels, and we hope that we will have the support of the European Union to continue the implementation of this high-quality program, which as goal has, to maintain a low prevalence of HIV in BiH, even after 2015.
Over the next 2.5 years, the project will continue the activities aimed at HIV prevention with a focus on populations at risk (injection drug users, sexual workers, men who have sex with men, Roma, migrants and prisoners).
The approach to the area of prevention will be based on the principles of reducing the level of damage, which includes communication with the community, a variety of services of medical treatment, counseling and testing services, the fight against stigma and discrimination as well as other promotional activities. This program owes its success mostly to the synergy of promotional and preventive activities carried out by non-governmental and governmental sectors that contributed with professionalism and commitment to the common goal of preserving health in BiH.
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