Baltic HIV Association launches a new informative campaign on the social site Facebook – The new face of HIV

On April 26, 2017 NGO Baltic HIV Association launched an infomative campaing on the social site Facebook – The new face of HIV. During the campaign NGO will offer its followers short but true facts about HIV.

The aim of the campaign is to educate people on the real HIV face thus reducing stereotypes on HIV as infection only of drug users and prostitutes. 

Campaign was launched right after the NGO released its press release on the latest statistics on HIV with the alarming data on Latvia as the new “leader” in new registered HIV cases in 2016 in the Baltics and also EU/EEA.

 Follow us on Facebook and be informed about the new face of HIV.

Latvia – a “leader” of new registered HIV cases in 2016, overtaking Estonia

NGO Baltic HIV Association has analyzed the latest data released by epidemiological surveillance institutions in the Baltics. The latest statistics on HIV/AIDS in the Baltics shows that Latvia has overtaken Estonia in the number of new HIV cases in 2016 thus becoming a “leader” among EU/EEA.

Although the total number of registered HIV cases in Estonia is still higher than in Latvia and Lithuania, tendencies show that this number is slowly decreasing. The opposite situation is in Latvia – the number of annual officially registered new HIV cases is increasing thus reaching 18.5 cases per 100 000 citizens in 2016, which is higher than in Estonia (17.4 cases per 100 000 citizens). Situation in Lithuania is still relatively good – 7.4 cases per 100 000 citizens.

“This is the first year when we have overtaken Estonia in the number of new HIV cases. This is a very serious signal to the whole Latvian health care system reflecting the acute need for involvement of institutions of all levels to solve the problem – it is necessary to inform and educate citizens, as well as encourage them to check their HIV status, but for those who are infected – provide antiretroviral therapy. Early diagnosis of HIV causes less harm to the infected person, his /her partner and the society in general. We have to break stereotypes on HIV issues mainly making people think “HIV does not reflect to me”, we have to involve general practitioners in HIV diagnosis the way Estonians have done it, otherwise we won’t be able to restrict the spread of HIV in the country”, says Inga Upmace, Chairman of the Board of Baltic HIV Association.

In accordance with the data released by The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC) of Latvia, as of January 1, 2017 there are 6972 HIV infected persons, 365 of them – diagnosed on previous year, which means that each day one person in Latvia becomes aware of his/her positive HIV status. In most of the cases transmission ways of the infection are sexual contacts – 38% of them – heterosexual, 6.6% – homosexual.

Majority of the new registered HIV cases in Latvia affect people at the age 30 – 39, but in general HIV affects people at all age groups – newborns, as well as people after 55. Although two-thirds of the infected are men, a rising problem is newborns affected by their mothers; there are more than 70 cases in the country and 6 of them – registered only during the last year. Prevalence of HIV by drug users during injections started to decrease already on 2008, and made only 17% of all new cases on 2016. This clearly shows that preventive measures started almost 20 years ago have been successful.

NGO Baltic HIV Association following the good practice of Estonia invites and encourages everyone who is in doubt about their health, to make a HIV test during the visit of general practitioners or in any of 16 preventive cabinets in Latvia (for more information: www.spkc.gov.lv) where HIV tests and consultations are free of charge, including NGO’s Checkpoint (Testpunkts) at Stabu str. 19, k2 in Riga, which is open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 – 8 p.m. For more information – www.testpunkts.lv.

Statistics on HIV in the Baltics, 2016 (pdf), (ppt).

The latest statistics on HIV in the Baltics in 2016

NGO Baltic HIV Association has compiled and analyzed the latest statistics on spread of HIV in the Baltics in 2016.

For the first time in 30 years Latvia has overtaken Estonia thus becoming the new “leader” in the number of new registered HIV cases in 2016 in the Baltics and also EU/EEA . 

You may see the latest statistics here.

Baltic HIV Association takes part in the new HIV, STIs and hepatitis strategic planning

On April 3, 2017 Inga Upmace Chairman of the Board of NGO Baltic HIV Association took part in discussion on the new strategic plan for HIV, STIs and hepatitis for 2018 – 2020.

During the discussion more than 30 participants submitted their proposals for the upcoming plan. Discussion was held by Santa Livina, director of Public Health Department of Ministry of Health.

Baltic HIV Association participates in the World TUberculosis Day

From 23 – 30 March, 2017 lot of associations and NGOs participated in activities within the World Tuberculosis Day. During these days people from different cities across Latvia were able to make tests on tuberculosis and receive consultations and many more free of charge.

NGO Baltic HIV Association in collaboration with SIA Euroaptieka offered free of charge consultations and HIV rapid tests for people attending drug stores in Riga. Similar activities were offered in NGO’s Chechpoint.

Several infographics were made in collaboration with SIA Euroaptieka on tuberculosis issues (see below).

During these days more than 30 people asked for consultation and made HIV tests.

On March 23, 2017 Baltic HIV Association organized round-table discussion hosted by Daina Jankalne, TV personality. During the discussion several specialists of the field introduced participants on the latest problems and tendencies on tuberculosis and HIV in Latvia. Discussion was attended by more than 20 interests as well as media.

Photos from the event: