Last week, the Estonian Network of People Living with HIV (EHPV) joined the regional AIDS Action Europe network, becoming one of the 61 participating countries. AIDS Action Europe’s top priorities are strengthening civil society to tackle the HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis epidemics in Europe and Central Asia.
Membership of the Estonian Network of People Living with HIV will represent the interests of the Estonian PLHIV community at the European level. We can also count on the support of the European community in the processes that are taking place in our country.
Kulbaev Sagib will represent EHPV at AIDS Action Europe. Cooperation is designed for the next three years with the possibility of extension.
Additional information on www.aidsactioneurope.org
“Nothing for us without us” – the New Community Center in North-East Estonia celebrates first year of its activities.
On May 24, 2019, the Community Center, established by the NGO “Estonian Network of PLHIV” NGOs (www.ehpv.ee) and the NGO LUNEST (www.lunest.ee at Jõhvi, Rakvere 5a) opened its doors. For the first time in Estonia, a unique center has been created in which services are provided to several key groups and managed by community representatives. Various projects with the support of the National Institute for Health Development (TAI) made it possible the creation of the center. Undoubtedly, the emergence of the center helped to get closer to the real changes, first of all, with regard to the life of people at risk.
According to the organizers of the center:
“Nowadays there are so many challenges – the lack of stable funding, attacks on communities, there is an atmosphere of prejudice and tension in society towards HIV-positive people and people who use drugs and psychoactive substances, representatives of LGBT people. The fundamental principles for our solidarity are equality and freedom.
We can change the world for the better in solidarity, not in confrontation.”
As part of the communities development, emphasis has been placed on health and socially significant diseases, the rights to prevention, treatment and support. The Estonian network of PLHIV and LUNEST continue to hope for the state support, because all mentioned activities are the bases principles of the new Estonian HIV strategic plan. Protection of rights should be the strategical goal for the nearest future, advocacy of the people’s interests, services development by communities and for communities.
Despite of difficult situation in Estonia and in other parts of the world, we should respect equality, it is necessary to oppose any discrimination! Estonian society should be equal for everyone.
Equality should be based on universal values, humanism and law principles.
Nowadays, there are so many situation that distancing people, there is an attack on solidarity. But only basing on the united community power we can achieve real changes!
The new order of COVID-19 pandemic is demanding more HIV-related service among the risk groups. In this regards, the Estonian Network of People Living with HIV (EHPV) is arranging a new initiative “Checkpoint MSM EHPV”, which will provide services to men who have sex with men(MSM).
The main goals of Checkpoint MSM EHPV are:
1. Increase MSM access to counseling, testing, and treatment as well as mental and social assistance.
2. Increase MSM awareness of HIV, its treatment and other sexually transmitted diseases.
3. Contribute to preventing new HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among MSM in Estonia.
4. Increase MSM awareness about PrEP and PEP.
5. Develop cooperation between state and local government, non-governmental organizations to fight stigma and discrimination towards MSM and PLHIV and reduce the consequences of HIV and other STIs.
In Checkpoint MSM EHPV there is access for free condoms, lubricants, HIV self-test kits, as well as information about any topic related to men’s health. Also, our experts will help you to find answers to your questions at our thematic meetings.
Checkpoint MSM EHPV is a volunteer initiative where everyone can share their experiences in safe and friendly atmosphere. In our center, everyone could find help – anonymously and free of charge from Monday to Saturday. The center will open its doors on May 18, immediately after the removal of quarantine.
For additional information contact:
+372 5870 6070 (Latsin), +372 5918 4194 (Deniss), +372 5781 6023 (Sagib)
Tallinn, Rävala pst. 8-1014
The Estonian Network of People Living with HIV (www.ehpv.ee), on the eve of International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day, which is traditionally celebrated on the third Sunday of May, addresses residents of Estonia, the government and municipalities of cities.
We all live through difficult times. We know that COVID-19 is a serious disease that has affected the country. Experience gained from the HIV epidemic can also be used to combat COVID-19.
We urge you to pay attention to people affected by COVID-19 who need our support. As it was with AIDS response, governments must work with communities to find solutions on local level.
Government, ministries, municipalities, and the population itself must respect the rights and dignity of people affected by COVID-19. Key populations should not bear the brunt of stigma and discrimination as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Forty years of fighting the HIV epidemic is an experience based on human rights and community orientation, which are key points in the fight against any epidemic. Building trust between affected communities, government, and the health system is also needed to effectively and quickly respond to the rapid spread of the pandemic.
We can say that viruses have captured our consciousness and our lives, but not the virus itself is important, but its consequences – stigma and discrimination. When the people infected by such “viruses”, it becomes important for us: what is your skin color, gender, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, the presence of a disease, etc. At the same time, the deeper the virus penetrates our consciousness, the more it forces to manifest: bias, injustice, violence. As a result, stigmatized person is left alone with his problem.
International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day, is one of the oldest and largest mobilization campaigns in the world to raise public awareness of HIV and AIDS in the world, serves as an important means of global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination and giving hope to new generations.
The HIV epidemiological situation in Estonia continues to be difficult. The persistent high incidence of HIV infection, the steady growth rate of new infections, the increase in the total number of HIV-infected people, the “growing up” of the infection and its activation in the general population due to the increase in sexual transmission are real today. Over the years in Estonia, 10129 people were diagnosed with HIV, including 567 people with AIDS.
Modern medicine have allowed HIV infection to pass from the category of fatal to chronic. Having started treatment with antiretroviral drugs in time, and following all the doctor’s instructions, people living with HIV live a long and full life. There is no cure for AIDS, but there is an opportunity to slow down its development. As Estonia has access to antiretroviral therapy, HIV / AIDS must be seen as a disease, not a death sentence. But even now, death from AIDS arises due to the fact that an HIV-positive person is not able to receive specialized medical services and antiretroviral treatment on time.
Our common vision is zero new HIV cases, zero discrimination against people living with HIV and zero AIDS-related deaths, but this requires investment, open and honest dialogue about it between the government and society. When we recognize the scale of the effects of viruses on our lives, we will seek to minimize the risk of contracting them.
The Estonian Network of PLHIV (www.ehpv.ee) together with its strategic partners, ECOM (www.ecom.ngo), as well as the Estonian Consortium community (www.consortium.ee), VEK LGBT (www.veklgbt.ee), LUNEST (www.lunest.ee) in framework of the campaign “Chase the virus, not people!” (www. chasevirus.org) joins every person who cares about the fate of people who have died of AIDS. To support everyone who has lost relatives, friends and acquaintances, and also pray for those who are no longer with us. Since the epidemic of the 80s, more than 32 million people have died from AIDS and AIDS-related diseases, which caused irreparable losses, millions of people were left orphans and even more – with broken destinies. International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day first time was celebrated in 1983, after several years of fighting an unknown virus at that time. On this day, we want everyone to think about the fact that HIV infection can affect everyone and personally me.
On the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day, we want to recall one more time that the human right to health is the basic right of every person. And no one has the right to deprive it! We wish, as never before, to mobilize all our efforts to eradicate stigma and discrimination, violation of human rights and bring a clear understanding that we are all vulnerable.
We hope that the COVID-19 pandemic, since the HIV epidemic did not quite cope with this at the time, will change the attitude generally to any problems in society related with viruses. It is very important to support those who are trying to confront these problems, regardless of the situation, age, gender, etc. It has long been clear to the PLHIV community that viruses do not forgive a frivolous attitude towards them. We hope that on this day this awareness will come to you.
Join us to light a candle for memory of people who died from AIDS and COVID-19.
1. Light a memorial candle on the terrace, balcony, garden or wherever it is comfortable for you
2. Remember and pray for relatives, friends, acquaintances who have died of AIDS or COVID-19
3. Share your memory and photos with us on social networks and do not forget to tag us #ehpv or @ EHPV – Estonian HIV-Positive Network.
Info: +372 5870 6070 (in Russian)
+372 5557 8131 (in Estonian)
+372 5781 6023 (in English)
Estonian Network of PLHIV.
The COVID-19 pandemic has identified a new development vector not only for healthcare, but for all aspects of the civil society. Throughout the pandemic, violations of human rights, especially the right to health, have been observed daily, highlighting the features that are common to problems related to both COVID-19 and the HIV infection.
From the beginning of May to the end of August of 2020, the Estonian network of PLHIV takes part in the campaign “Chase the virus, not people!” with the support of Robert Carr Fund for civil society Networks. The main goal of the project is to highlight the problems of people living with HIV related to stigma, discrimination and violation of their rights.
The project includes events dedicated to the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day in Tallinn, Jõhvi and Narva. Also, a video about the problems of the PLHIV in Estonia will be created as a result of the project.
The campaign “Chase the virus, not people!” was launched at the international AIDS2018 conference in Amsterdam to attract the attention of the world community to stigma and discrimination against key populations as the main barrier to an effective HIV response in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
#ПреследуйВирусНеЛюдей #chasethevirusnotpeople www.chasevirus.org
On behalf of representatives of the HIV-communities, we express our support to all measures that are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Despite the fact that the effect of COVID-19 on the general condition of people living with HIV has not yet been fully proven, COVID is already a concern for HIV-positive population.
From the beginning of the emergency situation, Estonian Network of PLHIV has not stopped its activities and started to work in a special mode. Not a single person who needs our help is left unattended, but at the same time, our activities are not fully able to satisfy all the needs of our customers without government support.
The Estonian Network of PLHIV joins the UNAIDS recommendations and asks Estonian government to pay attention to the following aspects:
- During the emergency situation HIV services should be available to people living with HIV and people, who at risk of HIV infection. The service should include the access of condoms, opioid substitution therapy, sterile needles and syringes, harm reduction and HIV testing.
- Provide the complete course of ARVT-therapy for a period of three months or more.
- Ensure the access to services for vulnerable people and remove financial barriers such as service charges (5 euros per visit to a doctor).
Despite the fact that PLHIV have the same recommendations as the general population, the PLHIV community needs additional precautions, as the PLHIV community remains a vulnerable group.
Despite the difficult situation around the world, Estonian network of PLHIV is not discouraged and contributes the goals of sustainable development of the world and supports the government in combating COVID-19. To facilitate its situation and resolve certain issues, the state needs to build dialogue with local communities, as they are daily involved in working with people who are at risk.
COVID-19 pandemic will reveal vulnerable aspects in the government’s previous policy, which does not always properly pay attention to the activities of NGOs. At the moment many NGOs have not yet faced the full complexity of the pandemic, but in the near future most of them will not be able to fully fulfill their mission. The government, when referring to business support, overlooks the activities of NGOs, which at this stage can play an important role.
Talking about general trends for non-profit sector and charity the situation will only decline, because in any unstable situation, people reduce all kinds of expenses. What then remains for us to do, if there is nothing to reduce? But what we are sure about, that we are not going to either close programs or leave the niche of helping people living with HIV. And also hoping that the situation will change and the government will estimate and support our activities.
We do not collect private donations, like many of our colleagues do, and as a result of this we do not really see the difference between the current situation and the one that was before. We believe that such emergencies in the world will bring people together and as a result, many charitable projects will find their support.
For our side, we ask the help of specialists and volunteers of NGOs who have received a medical education, as well as other specialists in related specialties.
Maybe COVID-19 pandemic and will change attitudes in general to any problems in society associated with viruses. It is very important to support those who are trying to confront these problems, regardless of the situation, age, gender, etc. It has long been clear to the PLHIV community that viruses do not forgive a frivolous attitude towards them. We hope that this awareness will come to everyone in society and in the state.
COVID-19 is not only medical problem, but also socio-economic issue, as was the case with HIV infection. The Estonian network of PLHIV calls on all people, without exception, to help the state and contribute to the fight against COVID-19, simply follow all the recommendations and do not panic.
15 years ago…. in suburbs of Narva in Laagna it was decided to create the Network of PLHIV by the group of activists.
Stay healthy! Take care of yourself and those who around!
Happy Birthday! Be healthy! #Estonia #EHPV #PLWHIV 01.04.2005 #Anno
Due to the global coronavirus pandemic and its possible wider spread in Estonia, the government has declared an emergency situation in the country until May 01, unless the government decides to extend it.
From March 13, 2020, the representative offices of the Estonian network of PLHIV and community centers in Tallinn, Narva and Jõhvi are starting to work in a special mode. As per current situation, no one should be left without services, but it is necessary to ensure the safety of both customers and employees. Our clients belong to the risk group, and therefore, in addition to the recommendations of the Department of Health, we revised the working process and changed the work schedule of stationary centers.
Face-to-face meetings and groups are canceled prior to special order. All the group-meetings and psychological consultations will be conducted remotely. Info by phone +372 5622 4076 (Natalia)
All consultations are conducted online by telephone or remotely via social networks and applications.
Delivery of ARV medication and questions about self-testing – by individual agreement.
Tallinn: +372 5870 6070 (Latshin), +372 5918 4194 (Denis), +372 5781 6023 (Sagib)
Narva: +37255578131 (Jekaterina), +37253004074 (Tat’yana), +37253334226 (Elena)
Jõhvi: +372 5331 7025 (Elena), +372 5675 3737 (Nadezhda)
Info: +372 5870 6070
Tallinn, Rävala pst.8-1014
Jõhvi, Rakvere tn.5a
Narva, Linda tn.4, 6 k.
We inform our clients and employees that if you have symptoms of coronavirus, then you need to contact your family doctor and avoid contact with other people! You can also consult by phone with family doctors 1220 or emergency line 112.
Common recommendations of the Department of Health about how to protect yourself and others from viral diseases are available in Estonian and Russian here:
All recommendations of the Department of Health regarding the coronavirus COVID-19 are available in Estonian and Russian here: https: //www.terviseamet.ee/et/COVID-19-trukised.
Recommendations are related to maintaining physical and emotional health.
Estonian Network of PLHIV
Health Department general guidelines about how to protect yourself and others from viral diseases
Due to the global coronavirus pandemic and its possible wider spread in Estonia, the government has declared an emergency situation in the country until May 01, unless the government decides to extend it. As per current situation, no one should be left without services, but it is necessary to ensure the safety of both customers and employees. Our clients belong to the risk group, and therefore, in addition to the safety measures recommendations of the Department of Health, we also recommend you to review the working process in your organization and, if necessary, change the work schedule of stationary centers. Please discuss with your employees the need and scope of changes to reduce the risk of infection for workers and customers.
There is no need to cancel the specialist receptions . If possible, keep in touch with clients by phone, skype and other tools and regularly check how they are doing, consult if it is necessary.
The offices, and especially it’s common surfaces, must be disinfected as often as possible.
Common recommendations to prevent the spread of infections:
- frequently used rooms, objects and surfaces, such as door handles, railings, elevator buttons, switches, chair backs, toilets and showers, must be disinfected with ordinary household cleaners, as well as disinfectants (biocides)
- adequate ventilation should be provided
- frequently to wash hands
- items in common use should be cleaned / washed after each use or use it less frequently than usual
You will find more detailed recommendations regarding cleaning and disinfection rules on the web-page of Health Department (in Estonian and Russian):
If possible, please print out and give your clients the recommendations of the Department of Health regarding the coronavirus COVID-19, which are available in Estonian and Russian here: https://www.terviseamet.ee/et/COVID-19-trukised. The recommendations relate to maintaining physical and emotional health.
Common recommendations of the Department of Health about how to protect yourself and others from viral diseases are available in Estonian and Russian here:
On the eve of International Women’s Day, EHPV gave an open session in Narva, which refers to HIV prophylaxis. The event was organized by a young female team – Sexties, which do not remain indifferent to sexual education among local youth. During the session we discussed the history of HIV, ways of transmission, symptoms, treatment and also we touched the ways of prevention, and in particular new ones – PrEP and PEP.
Those who are wishing to attend next Sexties’ events in Narva, please contact to Sexties.ee (Instagram)