Tanja Dimitrijevic, member of the AIDS Action Europe Steering Committee, participated in the  National Conference about innovative community  based services for PLHIV organised by USOP that was held in Belgrade on 1st December 2017. It was part of marking World AIDS Day and the closing of a two-year project called “Towards Standardisation of Community based Social Services Provision for PLHIV in Serbia” as a part of European Union Support to Inclusive Society financed by the EU and implemented by the Delegation of the EU in Serbia in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs.

The Conference had an opening, 3 plenary sessions and closing session:

  1. Towards standardisation of community based social services for PLHIV
  2. Innovative services in the social care system
  3. How to keep HIV\AIDS on the social and health political agenda?

The Conference gathered members of USOP and other NGOs from the region, PLHIV, representatives of the government, local municipalities, international organisations, social and health care institutions, embassies etc.

Nikola Grujic, the Counsellor to the Commissioner for Protection of Equality said at the conference that PLHIV together with LGBT population are people towards whom social distance is the biggest. Public opinion research showed that society in Serbia think that LGBT population is the most responsible for transmission of HIV. Very high level of discrimination and stigma comes from the Health Care System and praxis shows that additional trainings for health care providers are necessary. Complaints submitted by PLHIV related to stigma and discrimination coming from health care providers are the fifth most often of all complaints submitted to the Office of Commissioner for Protection of Equality.

Furthermore, trailers from documentary about HIV activism in Serbia directed by Bane Princip, HIV activist and member of USOP were shown during the conference.