STAR-STAR and HERA are winners of the ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action Challenge

At this year’s 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019), held in the capital of Mexico from 21 to 24 July, ViiV Healthcare, in collaboration with the International Association for Aids (IAS) on July 23, announced the award winners of the ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action Challenge: Stigma-Free Services for Sex Workers. This Challenge seeks brand-new ideas or current existing projects that enable sex worker communities and healthcare providers to work together to provide comprehensive stigma and discrimination-free HIV prevention services.

STAR-STAR – The First Collective of Sex Workers in the Balkans and HERA – Association for Health Education and Research are among the three winners of the $ 75,000 Prize, besides Kenya’s HOYMAS Associations and the PACE Society from Canada. Sex worker associations from Serbia, Vietnam and Mexico are winners of the SEED Prize of $ 25,000.

STAR-STAR aims to use this money prize to strengthen programs aimed at the community of male sex workers and transgender sex workers in Northern Macedonia. STAR-STAR, in cooperation with HERA, plans to expand existing services related to HIV and sexual reproductive health for sex workers and advocates introducing new, currently inaccessible preventive methods such as the PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis, i.e. protection against exposure to HIV) in male and transgender sex workers.

DPNSEE congratulates our colleagues from North Macedonia and Serbia.

SEE civil society organisations consultations

Preparing for the regional dialogue with donors, civil society organisations from South East Europe met in Belgrade, Serbia on 17 January 2018. The aim of the meeting is to discuss current developments regarding the work of the South East Europe Regional Coordinating Mechanism (RCM) and preparation process of the multi-country application, possible cooperation with EECA regional networks as well as opportunities for advocacy funding initiatives sustaining HIV prevention services in South East Europe. Around 30 representatives of the civil society organisations (CSOs) from all SEE countries participated.

Ana Filipovska, the RCM Coordinator and Milutin Milošević, DPNSEE Executive Director, presented recent work of the RCM and the call for multi-country application to the Global Fund to fight HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. The presentations and discussions following then helped to clarify some misunderstandings. Two regional initiatives for the project to the Global Fund were presented – Alliance and EHRA, ECOM, SWAN.

Milutin Milošević, DPNSEE Executive Director, delivering presentation

CSOs were invited to actively contribute to the work of Country Coordinating Mechanisms in expressing the country needs and designing a regional project.

The meeting was organised by HERA and Zaedno Posilni, supported by the Open Society Foundations.

EECA Civil Society Meeting

Preparing for the regional meeting “Addressing HIV and TB Challenges: from Donor Support to Sustainable Health Systems”, civil society organisations from Eastern Europe and Central Asia met on 11 December in Tallinn. Aim of the meeting was to consolidate and build opportunities for cooperation in advocacy efforts of civil society representatives during and after the meeting.

The pre-meeting gathered 14 representatives from civil society and community organisations mainly from South East European countries and regional community networks. Unfortunately because of heavy snow in the departure airports and delayed flights a lot of participants could not join.

There were two main issues of the meeting which of great importance for civil society and communities: transitioning of services to domestic funding and integration of it into the health and social care system.

The structure of the outcome document was presented and discussed. Next week key points from the document could be used for the plenary meeting of the Civil Society Forum of HIV, Hepatitis and Tuberculosis.