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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

BFPA survey about positive birth-rate measures

Sofia, December 5, 2022 

The Bulgarian Association for Family Planning and Sexual Health (BFPA) presented the results of a nationally representative survey conducted by KANTAR. The study took place in August 2022, among a sample of 836 people from the adult population and analyzed the measures that would positively affect the birth rate.

You can find the full research here

 
Final conference on ARIE project: PLHIV and fitness

Sofia, November 11, 2022

On November 11, 2022, the final conference of the ARIE project was held in Sofia. The project is supported by the Erasmus+ Sport program, led by the long-standing Italian partner of BFPA ANLAIDS – Lombardia. The rest of the participating organizations are from Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia. The activities are aimed at people living with HIV (PLHIV), the goal of the project is to develop and introduce a fitness program and an activity protocol for people living with HIV. In Bulgaria the project was coordinated by Boyan Mladenov from the BFPA team. Among the participants of the conference were health specialists, professors from medical universities, NGO partners, representatives of the target group. From the Bulgarian side the most outstanding was the presentation of Prof. Radka Argirova “HIV,Covid and Monkeypox - what more we have to know”
The project aims to promote physical activity in the form of personalized guidelines among people between the ages of 18 and 50 who are living with HIV and who are on treatment, offering an innovative fitness protocol to engage them in moderate physical activity.
This is the first project in Europe specifically targeting people living with HIV and fitness to promote a healthy lifestyle and add fitness protocols to HIV therapy.

 
Presentation of the results of a regional study and recommendations for SRH services in the European Parliament - project "Youth Voices, Youth Choices"

Brussels, October 26, 2022

In the last months of 2022 the partners of the YVYC project, together with experts and young people, developed recommendations for regional policy recommendations for improvement of health and social systems and SRHR services for young people after the Covid 19 pandemic.
The recommendations are targeting decision-makers at international and national institutions.  They were presented in the European Parliament on October 26, 2022 by young advocates and experts, with the support of MEP Fred Matic. Three BFPA representatives - Victoria Nikolova, Venelin Stoychev and Pavlina Filipova participated in the EP meeting.

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