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BFPA_25_YEARSBulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA)
30 years of expertise and innovations with care for the future


  
The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1992, registered in public benefit. Its activities are oriented towards several main areas of work – access to health care services, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), health and sexuality education, advocacy for underserved groups, trafficking of human beings, sustainable development policies and prevention HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. The target groups of the organization are various and include mainstream young people, women in reproductive age, state, municipality and school authorities, health professionals, NGO and community leaders, teachers, journalists. BFPA puts special focus on marginalized and socially deprived groups – Roma, other ethnic minorities, blind and deaf children, young people with disabilities, rural women, children in institutions, young people with criminal record.
   In the statues of the Association it is clearly and unequivocally stated that “BFPA is non-politically-affiliated organization, which works for improvement of sexual and reproductive health of everyone – regardless of gender, ethnicity, creed or age.” The main goal of the organization is to create conditions for realization of the right of family planning and sexual health of Bulgarian citizens, as well as for promotion and popularization of reproductive health and health prevention ideas in Bulgaria.
The BFPA members that build up its staff, Management Board and the volunteer resources of the organization, have different professional backgrounds: medical doctors, midwifes, nurses, lawyers, journalists, teachers, psychologists, economists, social workers, health mediators, young people and representatives of the target groups of BFPA’s projects. This diversity of professional and social expertise has helped the organization to implement successfully over 75 projects, supported by over 50 different donors and donor programs. These projects were implemented along with our ongoing health, social and educational activities in Sofia and our branches in the country.
   BFPA is at the same time expert and also innovator and introduced for the first time in the country the concept of peer education, youth friendly services and medical and service delivery standards elaborated by WHO and IPPF. The conducted interventions include implementing of national-wide media campaigns, optimizing health services and screenings, wide range of trainings; conducting of researches, peer education etc.
   BFPA works to:
• Optimize communication channels for providing health info for a wide auditorium of adolescents and young people
• Mobilize and improve participation of young people in each stage of governance process.
• Reduce vulnerability to STI/HIV/AIDS for all with special emphasis on young people, including those with disabilities, in penitentiaries and other institutions and underserved groups such as Roma
• Improve the access to voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services and treatment national-wide
• Combat the stigma and discrimination attitudes towards affected with AIDS
• Promote high quality and affordable health services with special emphasis on young people, women and underserved groups
• Improve and increase access to high quality and systematic info on SRHR by using innovative tools
• Improve the quality and diversify the SRHR services especially for vulnerable, marginalized and underserved groups.  
• Increase the availability of SRHR services and supplies including contraceptives
• Empower women and equal opportunities 
• Provide mobile SRHR services in rural areas and works on the SRH component of trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation
• Increase influence on policies and legislation on SRHR on local and national level
• Sustain and enlarge networks and partnerships with relevant NGOs, governmental structures and international agencies working on health promotion, prevention and SRHR
   During these 30 years in Bulgaria the Association has reached over 120 000 satisfied clients of its reproductive health related medical services and has conducted over 320 000 gynaecological and contraceptive consultations. More than 36 000 consultations and tests for HIV, hepatitis B and C, chlamydia, syphilis and other STIs were done. On its own and in various networks and different partnerships, BFPA has initiated and implemented very important national campaigns on topics related to awareness raising, prevention of HIV and STIs, promoting health and improving access to healthcare for vulnerable communities. Over 20 000 young people, students, representatives of marginalized communities, teachers, health specialists, NGO experts, municipality experts, representatives of the government administration and social workers have undergone the organization’s trainings. Trained by BFPA, the educators and peer educators alone have reached over a million and five hundred thousand young people, vulnerable groups, students, specialists and ordinary people. And this is just a modest approximate figure – the real number of people we reach is substantially bigger and the effect multiplies permanently.
   BFPA is also a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and several other international and national NGO networks and since 1995 has shared its expertise many times in countries as Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia.

 

 

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End inequality. End AIDS

Bulgaria, December 1, 2021

For yet another year, the international community celebrates December 1 - World AIDS Day. This year it is entitled "End inequality. End AIDS"
On December 1, 2021, the WHO calls upon world leaders and citizens to unite against inequalities and reach out to people who do not currently receive basic HIV services. Forty years after the first cases were reported, HIV still threatens the world. Separation, inequality and disregard for human rights have allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates inequalities and difficulties in health care delivery, a challenge for many people living with HIV.
According to the WHO, nearly 38 million people worldwide live with HIV/AIDS, with the number of newly infected people in 2020 being 1.5 million and the number of deaths being 680,000. Globally, in 2020, nearly 73% of those infected receive antiretroviral therapy. In Bulgaria, a total of 1,936 people with HIV are being followed up in the HIV / AIDS treatment sectors, and 1,910 (99%) of them are receiving antiretroviral therapy. In our country treatment is free for all people in need, regardless of their health insurance status. The therapy prolongs and improve quality of the of PLHIV and improves their quality of life. Bulgaria remains a country with low HIV prevalence - the frequency of newly registered cases of HIV infection per 100 thousand population for Bulgaria is 2.9 in 2020, and for comparison - the average for EU countries is 3.3.

 
Autumn fragments from BFPA’s Work

October – November 2021

BFPA launched another short animation ‘What are the Ways of Infections’ on its project ‘My Body, My Rights’ on October 1, 2021. The video gives an idea on the main ways of infecting the human body, on the work of the immune system and on the factors of which its proper functioning depends.
On process of working on the same project but this time in November, are another two films – a short animation on the methods of hormonal contraception; and one documentary on the benefits and challenges on the activities in the three projects locations: Sofia, Yambol and Montana with special focus on the work of field self-help groups. Both products will be finalized by the end of this year.

 
BFPA volunteer awarded in an international competition for social and youth cinema

Berlin, October 17, 2021

The volunteer of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association Viktoria Nikolova returned on October 17, 2021 after participating in a youth exchange in Berlin. Her visit there is part of her award for participation in the international competition Youth.DanubeSalon - Shoot By Youth for social and youth cinema. A seven-member jury with representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Croatia, Romania and Serbia awarded the short film, dedicated to the need for health and sexuality education, made by her and a small team of three other young adults based on a script entirely constructed by them. The participants in the competition had to present a problem within a few minutes and to propose its solution. Coordinators on the Bulgarian side of the international initiative are colleagues from the Re-Act Association.

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