Recent National HIV in Serbia expired in 2015 and since then there were no initiatives to design a new one. Finally, this autumn, with revival of the activities around potential Global Fund project support, the Ministry of Health started a process of building a new HIV Strategy.
The process is quite fast – it started in early November with the deadline for the draft set at the end of 2017. A working group of five people was appointed, including one representative of the civil society. Each of the working group members was leading the process of producing the text in one of the priority areas: 1) Prevention, 2) Medical treatment and support to people living with HIV, 3) Stigma and discrimination, 4) Quality standards and 5) Strategic information.
In each of the subgroups, a dialogue between various stakeholders, governmental, civil society, academia and people living with HIV, was productive in analysing the situation and proposing new aims, measures and activities. DPNSEE and member organisations representatives participated actively in this endeavour. And success was achieved: the final meeting of the expert group, held on 25 December 2017, resulted in producing the final draft of the Strategy and the Action plan 2018 – 2021 for implementing it!
Even though the process short and the task challenging, we hope that the result will lay ground for a comprehensive and effective respond to HIV in Serbia.