On Friday association „Pozityvus gyvenimas" (Positive Life), which is taking care and helping for HIV patients and for those who are at-risk groups in Klaipeda's region, started its activities in the newly established center of STI prevention, consultations and social services at Taikos ave. 107. As a beginning, here it was symbolically given start for "European HIV-hepatitis testing week".
For several weeks the work is “boiling” in Taikos pr. 107. Here, people infected with HIV, their families and volunteers are repairing premises, which are being rented from municipality. These premises will provide full support to patients and those individuals who are at- risk. Lot of work to do, since premises were abandoned and stood in bad conditions, but our enthusiasm to create a qualified office by sufficient funds and by our own hands is enough.
On July 21st 2015, an agreement of support was signed by the company “GILEAD”. According to the agreement, €8000 support is to be delivered for association “Positive life” to ensure activities of a cabinet providing consultations and psychological services for people infected with HIV (PLHIV).
The Ministry of Health has submitted to Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania for consideration and adoption of HIV / AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections Prevention and Control Action Plan for 2015-2017. Comments and proposals may be submitted by institutions and the public concerned by 2 of June 2015.
About two-thirds of those who are infected with HIV (in Klaipeda region) cannot meet their doctors. That indicates that health service is hardly accessible or it is just simply missing. By receiving funding from Klaipeda‘s municipal administration, association „Pozityvus gyvenimas“ will try to fill-up this gap.
Association "Positive life" has prepared and sent an appeal to the President and the Board of Directors of the International Fund AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation). Please find the full Appeal text below:
Dear representatives of the authority and press, we would like to appeal to you to help and support us in protection the public interest and transparency. We present our letter and expect your support and determination to inform the society, protect the public interest and communities of vulnerable people from unconscientious individuals and their activities based on using our problems to create their own prosperity.
Association „Positive life“ has submitted application Nr. EEE-NVO-K2-DP-10 to get funding. Acoording to the NGO Programme Lithuania guidelines, the application was developed with collaboration with the designated NGO Programme Lithuania operator/representative, by taking into consideration to the notes. The major project application, that was developed, No. EEA NGO-K2-DP-10 did not got to the recommended list of projects for financing, that is why the funding has not been addressed for the project.
Doctor Vlima Uždavinienė, who had long time experience in HIV treating and who was doing her job more than for ten years in Lithuanian AIDS Center, have ended her work in Vlinius. For some people V. Uzdaviniene was a family doctor as well. By her own words, she found a new working place. As a patient association representative I can say that this decision was not made olny for better working conditions, but also because of the anxiety in her working place. Right now patients are really concerned, calling me, because they do not know what to do. “Doctor Vilma was not only our HIV specialist, but also family doctor for some of us”, - said by the telephone Victoria.
This year on the 4th of January, Association “Positive Life” is implementing a project „NGO, working with HIV/AIDS, institutional capacity development and cooperation with the local self-government strengthening“, funded by the Republic of Lithuania and the Swiss cooperation program. The main goal of this sub-project is to strengthen the institutional capacities of association „Positive Life“; to effectively defend the interests of people with HIV/AIDS, to increase the informativeness of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD), to reduce the intolerance of people with HIV / AIDS, and strengthening civil society. During this time, there were organized few workshops, trainings and, also several big events.
This year, on May 19, the 30th time the whole world comemorated International memorium day of AIDS coused deaths. For the first time this day was firs mentioned in 1983 in San Francisco (USA). In Lithuania this day was memorized from 1994.
Non- governmental organization „Pozityvus gyvenimas“ (Positive life) is uniting people, who are infected by HIV or has AIDS with their family members and well educated specialists. This time “Pozityvus gyvenimas” memorized International AIDS memorial day particulary- on the Hill of Crosses was seated a cross for the victims of AIDS.
November 13th, 2013, "Infectious Diseases Conference" took place in Vilnius. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, by the Center for Communicable Diseases and AIDS and by the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Members of the association "Pozityvus gyvenimas" also had the chance to participate in the conference.
I am not the first and however not the last person to find out a diagnosis of HIV positive. I am not the first and not the last person who will not question whether to disclose or not to disclose your status. Many question, fears and the feeling of not knowing where to go. Feeling alone in the crowd, silent monologue constantly repeating words HIV, AIDS, HIV AIDS... Fear of telling someone, fear of being not understood, fear of being outcast, diminished, alone, isolated as a society or a family member, as a friend or a co-worker, all is because I was marked by the destiny.
Would you dare to disclose to your friend that you have HIV/AIDS? Would you have the courage to tell about it to your colleague or an employer? Are we ready to listen and help? "People with HIV/AIDS are still discriminated though the fear, related to this illness, exist in both the people with or without HIV/AIDS."- according to people from the association "Pozityvus gyvenimas".
In October, from Lithuania will be sent appeal to the Europien Union institutions, which has been prepared in Forum „ HIV in Europe and nabour countries“ (Klaipeda, July 25-27). The appeal was signed by 16 organizations from different countries and international networks. The appeal focuses our attention to the badly solved helth problem- HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, using drug injections.
On 16th of October associations “Positive Life” representatives sent referral letters to Lithuania’s Republic President, Prime Minister, Sejm chairman, health care, social matters and labor Ministers.
This year, on July 25-27, during Forum “HIV in Europe and neighbour countries” participants expressed their concerns about HIV prophylaxis and treatment situations in the region. They prepared a letter and send it in October to all EU structures and for some states presidents.
Appeal. HIV in Europe and Neighbourhood Forum 24-26 July 2013 in Klaipeda, Lithuania
During the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Lithuania Association „Pozitivus gyvenimas“ together with the East Europe and Central Asia Union of PLWHA has organised an International Forum ‘HIV in Europe and Neighbouring countries’. The HIV in Europe and Neighbourhood Forum expresses serious concerns over the sustainability of the HIV response in in countries neighboring the European Union and in Central Asia, which heavily depend on international funds that are being phased out. This undermines the evidence-based and human rights-centered responses to HIV, as well as TB, hepatitis and injecting drug use that were developed over years.