ABOUT US
                                                                          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." 
Frank Delano Roosevelt 
 

Any legal or private person willing to support us financially can transfer money into our account: Biedriba Apvieniba HIV.LV, Registration No. 40008102142, IBAN LV55HABA0551013367373, Swedbank AS, HABALV22. This money will be used to support our current projects.

 

                                         Welcome to our homepage of the Association HIV.LV!
 
On 8 May of 2006 the Association HIV.LV has been entered into the State Register of Associations and Foundations. Association HIV.LV was established by several non-governmental organisations and a couple private persons.
 

     

Our mission is:
To improve the quality of life and to provide advocacy for HIV positive people in all aspects of life, involving both HIV + community and society at large.
Our vision is:
A productive life for HIV+ population,  a good quality of living, an access to adequate treatment in line with the highest available standards, and supportive public attitude. The Association shall only deal with the situation monitoring and education. The activities of the Association are financed by the state.
Our goals are:
• To improve the quality of life for people with HIV/AIDS by actively engaging them in shaping public policy on HIV/AIDS, along with state and local governmental institutions;
• To increase the effectiveness of cooperation with international organizations and global networks;
• To secure interests and rights of people living with HIV/AIDS,  while safeguarding them against discrimination and promoting their social inclusion;
• To promote access to treatments of Hepatitis C and/or other diseases for HIV+ segment of population as well as to protect its interests.
To achieve above mentioned goals we have set following tasks:
• To bring into the Association’s work the non-governmental organisations working in HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and other related areas and their support groups, involve HIV+ activists as well as other interested individuals;
• To raise necessary funds in order to support the Association’s member organizations and their buildout;
• To develop and implement training programs for HIV/AIDS activists; organize educational seminars;
• To develop and implement training programs to aid fellow NGOs and their activists specializing in other diseases as well as share with them the advocacy know-hows;
• To establish the support and self-help group activities for people living with HIV/AIDS in Latvia, and encourage people living with HIV/AIDS to build organisations of self-governance in the country;
• To develop and implement various projects and raise necessary funds to secure the Association’s work;
• To develop and implement advocacy plans and middle term advocacy strategy for people living with HIV/AIDS;
• To create a public oversight on the treatment and its access for HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C co-infection;
• To enact proposals for national programs, action plans and carry out independent monitoring of their implementation;
• To enact legislative initiatives;
• To represent the interests of participating organizations in the advisory councils, cross-sectoral committees, working groups set up by governmental institutions;
• To provide and maintain the exchange of information on the latest updates in legislation, treatment, funding opportunities, statistics, and case studies;
• To give continuous assistance to coordinated work on prevention and control of HIV and related infections, as well as aid in preparing various project applications.

   

In 2015, from February 1st to December 31st, Association will provide harm reduction services (HIV prevention services for drug users and their liaisons) in the administrative territory of Kekava county. There will also be the traditional, (already the 8th) summer training camp for activists, professionals and employees of HIV prevention programs. Routine advocacy to increase access of treatment for hepatitis C and HIV will be ongoing: Latvian and Baltic Patient Community Advisory Board’s (abbreviated - BaltCAB) founding meeting will take place on March 20th-21st, in Riga. At this meeting, the patient community activists, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, and decision-makers in the healthcare sector will discuss the format of future cooperation nationally and will address the issues pertinent to a more effective treatment access. Also, the community of HIV and/or hepatitis C patients and the pharmaceutical industry ought to agree on the efficiency of a further cooperation model as well as its content.

   

In 2014, our society published two new brochures in Latvian: “HIV, pregnancy and women’s health” and  “Changing HIV treatment and drug resistance” (both funded by the European AIDS Treatment Group). An informal initiative group of drug users "The Doors" began carrying out its second project "Off-road with Methadone", funded by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network, to probe the attitudes about the substitution therapy with methadone for drug users and customers of opiate pharmacotherapy treatment. The society has held the 7th traditional summer camp for activists, professionals and employees of HIV prevention programs. There has been an ongoing advocacy to expand an access to treatment of hepatitis C and HIV; the society has trained three activists. The 3rd autumn advocacy training (paid for by society AGIHAS) has been completed. There were two major public campaigns: "Walk for Health", with pickets at the Ministry of Health and at the Cabinet of Ministers, and the "National Meat Grinder Grinds the Patients", during the World Hepatitis Day at the Ministry of Finance and the Saeima (the Parliament). In September, Latvia was visited by the European Centre for Disease Control expert group that focused on matters related to hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and Association HIV.LV expressed its position. Throughout the year, the society continued its work on devising “the Action Plan for Restricting the Spread of HIV Infection, Sexual Transmission of Infections, Hepatitis B and C, in 2014-2016”; unfortunately, the plan had not yet been reviewed by the government. Work has begun on creating the Latvian and Baltic Patient Community Advisory Board; it is expected that the Advisory Board will be an effective tool in mobilizing patients with common aim to expand the availability of treatment and its access for HIV and hepatitis C. The founding meeting will be held in March 2015, in Riga.   

 


In 2013, the patient advocacy project “Access to drugs – a right, not a privilege” was completed by developing recommendations, which were aligned with all participating institutions and majority of which were put into effect through the year. The advocacy initiatives included two public events – “Run for health” nearby the Cabinet of Ministers building and “Let’s give LVL 1,000,000 to the Ministry of Health and scissors to the pharmaceutical companies” nearby the Ministry of Health. We have completed the research on the accessibility of the HIV infection, HIV/TB co-infection and HIV/HCV co-infection treatment. Based on this research, the following report has been published: “The assessment of the treatment infrastructure and accessibility in the Republic of Latvia.” We organised the 6th – now annual – summer camp for activists, specialists and workers of HIV prophylaxis programmes for the management of the burnout syndrome. We have already received the funding for the 7th summer camp in 2014. The informal group of initiatives for drug users “Doors” delivered the project “With our own eyes”, which assessed the quality of the harm reduction and methadone programmes. The methodology and grant application support was provided by Association HIV.LV, while the project was funded by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network. A report has been developed as result of this project. We also ran the 2nd autumn training session in advocacy for activists from non-governmental organisations. Information on all projects can be viewed in the “Projects” section of this website. You can also subscribe to a weekly e-newsletter and/or follow us on Twitter.

 

In 2012, Association HIV.LV started the patient advocacy project “Access to drugs – a right, not a privilege.” The goal of this project is to improve the access to life-saving HIV and HCV treatments. This was the second project funded by the Open Society Foundations. We also organised two public events near the Ministry of Health with an aim to advocate the interests of the patients with chronic infectious diseases: “HCV treatment costs more than a life each month” and “Pay as you live”. These events achieved a broad media coverage and raised the public profile of Association HIV.LV. This project also included two reports, both of which were presented to the Ministry of Health and the relevant subsidiaries. We ran the 1st autumn training session in advocacy for young activists and received funding for organising the follow-up training session in the autumn of 2013. We also completed the second Nordic Council of Ministers project in the area of AIDS and mental health “Improving the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS.” As part of this project, we developed a training programme for social workers, ran 4 training sessions for social work specialists and activists and participated in experience exchange activities with akin organisations in Finland (Turku and Helsinki). At the end of 2012, we started a new patient advocacy project for the International Treatment Access Coalition. We had planned to research the access to the treatment of the HIV/TB and HIV/HCV co-infections and draft the report “The assessment of the treatment infrastructure and accessibility in the Republic of Latvia.”
We published two booklets for patients – “Side effects of antiretroviral therapy: Effective management” in Latvian (funded by the European AIDS Treatment Group) and a bilingual booklet on peer support during HIV and HCV treatment in Latvian and Russian. We continued the educational work with prisoners; it was funded by the Embassy of the United States in Latvia. We also organised the customary events for the management of the burnout syndrome.
We signed a long-term partnership agreement with the project office of Anand Grover, the United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
Information on all projects can be viewed in the “Projects” section of this website. You can also subscribe to a weekly e-newsletter and/or follow us on Twitter.

 

In 2011, Association HIV.LV implemented the project “HCV: Hesitation is dangerous.” As part of this project, prisoners were tested for HIV and HCV antibodies, while female sex workers were tested for HCV antibodies. If HCV had been diagnosed, the project participants were asked to complete a survey. We also interviewed several HCV experts. This project included the development of a review on the treatment of HCV in Latvia, which was published in Latvian, Russian and English.
We created a strategic plan for the advocacy of the HIV, HCV infected and HIV/HCV co-infected patients in 2012. A new bilingual booklet “HCV: A booklet for those getting tested for HCV antibodies” was issued in Latvian and Russian. We completed the first project in the area of AIDS and mental health “Improving the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS.” As part of this project, we ran 5 training sessions for social work specialists and activists, researched services available to the HIV patients in Latvia and participated in experience exchange activities. Association HIV.LV also organised the customary events for the management of the burnout syndrome and completed the advocacy project assessing the accessibility of the HIV infection treatment.  For the first time ever, Association HIV.LV was able to provide minimal financial support to its member-organisations.
We improved our website, set up a weekly e-newsletter and a Twitter account.
On 4 March 2011, the Society Integration Foundation of Latvia awarded Association HIV.LV a prize for promoting tolerance and solidarity, along with a gratuity of LVL 500.


Our representative works in following Cross-Sector committees at Ministry of Health of the Republic of Latvia:
Coordination Committee of elimination of HIV infection, tuberculosis and sexual transmitted disease spread (since 2008),
Health Coordination Committee (since 2010).
 

      

In 2010, Association HIV.LV implemented 13 projects. Association continued educational activities in Latvian prisons and supplemented prisoners with tests for HIV, Hepatitis C and tuberculosis, as well started advocacy project for HIV treatment availability. The association conducted 3 researches, which resulted in creating following reports: “Missing the Target: Access to treatment for people living with HIV in Latvia ”, “National report from a study on mental health and HIV/AIDS”, case study about treating TB/HIV co-infected patients in Latvia. Association HIV.LV designed report “Rights for access restricted. Alternative UNGASS Report”. Following brochures have been issued in Latvian: “Recommendations for patients with HIV and Hepatitis C: testing, treatment and support” and ”I have been prescribed efavirenzs … recommendations to patients”. Association HIV.LV carried out activities to prevent burnout syndrome and organized several training sessions. The association takes part in international project concerning AIDS and mental health “Developing HIV/AIDS and mental health programs  in new EU countries – MAIDS”. Association HIV.LV continued actively to defend the rights of HIV/AIDS infected people. During the winter time Association HIV.LV organizes  the environment social campaign in Riga city “How Understanding Would YOU Be, If You Found Out, That a Person with AIDS Lives in Your Staircase?” This campaign also was organized in several other cities. We were working on improving our homepage and introduced some new functions, e.g. arranged news and forum message archiving, our readers can apply for weekly news and new photos from several events were added.
     

In 2009, Association HIV.LV implemented 10 projects. Association continued activities, which were started in the previous year, and organized activities for prevention of burnout syndrome. The Association implemented several projects: work in prison was supplemented with individual peer-to-peer consultations, volunteers were advised and tested for HIV, informative training was organized about HIV/AIDS for prison personnel and brochure in Latvian was issued called “An introduction to antiretroviral combination therapy”.  Training for NGO workers and social workers was organized throughout Latvia and activities carried out concerning HIV treatment availability. First time the summit of the “Baltic Positive Network” took place in Latvia.

 
In 2008, Association HIV.LV implemented 5 projects concerning HIV/AIDS: educational lectures in prisons, correspondence with HIV-positive prisoners about maintaining level of life standard, organized various trainings for NGO workers and local authorities, set up support group activities and provided society with the latest information on the Association HIV.LV web-page, as well as organized activities for prevention of burnout syndrome. The Association actively cooperated with authorities and created strategic its plan.

 

Association has a mailing list  http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/hivapvienibalv. All who are interested can join by sending a request from groups site in Yahoo! At the moment (17.02.2015) mailing list has 25 addresses. The primary language of the mailing list is Latvian.

 

Any legal or private person willing to support us financially can transfer money into our account:
Biedriba Apvieniba HIV.LV, Registration No. 40008102142, IBAN LV55HABA0551013367373, Swedbank AS, HABALV22.
This money will be used to support our current projects.
  
Gaismas Street 19, k-8, 201, Kekava, Kekava district, LV-2123, Latvia

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Logo apvieniba@apvienibahiv.lv