Summary of project
What is the project about?
The project aims to identify and reduce gaps in Croatia’s national HIV prevention and treatment programmes, by improving the quality of life for people living with HIV (PLHIV).
Why was the project developed?
In Croatia, men who have sex with men (MSM) are the group that is most affected by HIV, and in 2014 MSM represented 85% of new diagnosis. Discrimination against MSM and PLHIV is very high and it also occurs in the health system, which has a negative impact on the quality of life of PLHIV.
What does the project hope to achieve?
The project has three key objectives:
To increase the rate of HIV testing and to link PLHIV, who are undiagnosedinto care, by providing community-based HIV testing in LGBT centres in Zagreb and other MSM venues.
Enhance the skills and knowledge of healthcare providers on HIV testing, treatment and care and decrease stigma and discrimination of MSM/PLHIV.
Empower PLHIV and improve treatment literacy, as most PLHIV don't share their HIV status with their social networks and family.
What does the project involve?
The project involved several initiatives:
- A promotional campaigns targeting MSM was launched to increase the rate of HIV testing.
- A booklet and a workshop was organised for primary healthcare professionals to improve their knowledge and understanding of HIV and to decrease stigma and discrimination.
- Online community and education activities were developed to empower PLHIV including a booklet ‘Positive Living’ that is available as a hard copy and also online.
How has the project helped people living with HIV in Croatia?
Although results are not yet available, it is anticipated that PLHIV in Croatia will benefit as their HIV status will be diagnosed earlier, resulting in faster treatment and improvement in health outcomes. In addition, PLHIV will have access to information about HIV and its treatment and a supportive community which will make it easier for PLHIV to access to quality healthcare.