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Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria projects

Since 2004 IAN section for HIV and mental health has been conducting numerous education programs jointly with other country relevant institutions and organizations in the field of HIV response. One of our most important partners is Ministry of Health which is the primary recipient of The Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria donation in Serbia . In 2008 with Global Fund (GF) project implementation unit we organized training for social workers on mental health and HIV. In 2009 "Training of employees in social care centres" was once again carried out as part of the round 6, Project of Ministry of Health "Strengthening national HIV response through decentralization of key health services". The goal of the project was to improve the quality of services provided by Centres for social care to PLHIV population.

Two trainings " Positive prevention and VCCT counsell ing" (2010) were delivered as part of the round 8, Project of Ministry of Health, and aimed at improving VCCT counsellors knowledge about HIV prevention among PLHIV clients.

In the period of January- February 2010, IAN conducted the research on " Perception of knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of health professionals in Serbia related to HIV". The research was carried out on a representative sample of 1500 health workers.

The research findings were used to design training program for health professionals "Health professionals and HIV- security measures and good practice in treatment and HIV prevention". As part of this training program 417 health workers were educated at 16 training events in Serbia .

HIV/AIDS and mental health - MAIDS developmental program for change agents

"HIV/AIDS and mental health in South-Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia " is the project carried out in cooperation with GIP Global Initiative in Psychiatry (2007-2010). The project aimed at raising awareness and knowledge among professional and general public on frequently neglected connection between mental health and HIV. Our section became a part of the Expert centres network in this part of Europe . As part of the project several activities were conducted: four qualitative studies (RAR studies on mental health and HIV), four training modules were delivered to mixed groups of participants, relevant publications were printed, and initiatives for better response to the mental health needs of affected population were launched, as many other interventions.

One of the main activities of the Expert centre for HIV/AIDS and mental health is organization of the continuous education for mixed groups of participants who became our change agents in the process. The goal of the MAIDS training was to empower different professionals and paraprofessionals who are involved in HIV to adequately respond to the needs of people with HIV from the medical, psychological and social perspective, and to promote HIV prevention. Within MAIDS project four training modules were delivered with eleven training events and more then 80 participants who passed the continuous program. MAIDS training encompass four modules with different topics:

  • MODULE 1 "Introduction to HIV and mental health"
  • MODULE 2 "Supporting people with HIV who belong to vulnerable groups"
  • MODULE 3 "Supporting people living with HIV and AIDS"
  • MODULE 4 "Adherence and mental health"

The majority of training participants became part of the change agents network and act as important educational resource of our centre.

Comprehensive support to people affected by AIDS

Within the project Comprehensive support program for people affected by HIV (2007-2009) supported by CAFOD , IAN supported development of eight PLHIV associations (associations of people living with HIV), that are active in Serbia ( Aid +, ŽENA+, following Q-club , ALEXO, Stav plus , UPSZ, Sunce i SPAIDS). The support consisted of delivering great number of training programs specifically designed according to the need of every association and individual consultation.

As part of the project IAN opened counselling site for people with HIV to provide specialized forms of psychological aid: individual counselling, self-help group, psychotherapy, psychiatric service, family counselling.

Also, project supported professional helpers (VCCT counsellors, nurses, NGO PLHIV counsellors (peer educators) and social workers, though continuous education and professional supervision.

Voluntary confidential counselling and HIV testing (VCCT)

Voluntary confidential counselling and HIV testing (VCCT ) (2004-2007) was the first section project aimed at HIV prevention improvement, supported by CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development). The project activities were conducted in partnership with Student's Health Clinic and CAFOD section for technical support. Alongside cooperation with Student's Health Clinic in Belgrade and VCCT development in field, we organized numerous training events, supervision meetings and study visits for VCCT counsellors from Serbia . The project was evaluated as one of the best projects supported by CAFOD in Eastern Europe . The link between IAN, Student's Health Clinic and with number of other counsellors attached to informal network of professionals can be seen in the lasting cooperation. Great achievements of these counselling centres (at the Students' Health Clinic, in Subotica, Vranje, Sabac..) can be seen in good quality of counselling and proactive approach to vulnerable groups, they are also recognized by clients, and other important organizations and individuals in the field of HIV prevention and care for PLHIV (people living with HIV and AIDS).


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