The general aim of the project was to develop and exchange solutions to handle specific issues relating to the vulnerability of mobile and migrant populations, with a specific focus on young people to HIV/AIDS.
More specifically, the objectives of the project was: - to collect and disseminate in-depth information, including epidemiological developments, regarding mobile populations in the European Member States and the applicant countries;
- to stimulate collaboration and networking between European Member States and applicant countries on the issue of (young) migrants;
- to stimulate links and collaboration between governmental and non-governmental organisations in the area of migration and youth at the national and the European level, with a focus on active involvement of the respective populations/communities;
- to assess and document best practice with respect to prevention, care and support in Europe in the field of HIV/AIDS and migrant, mobile & young people;
- to continue developing new approaches in regard to effective HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support, concerning migrant, mobile and young populations;
- to provide health professionals in the field of migration and youth with the opportunity of skills building and exchange of knowledge and expertise;
- to operate a helpdesk and make information and consultancy available to a wide network of professionals in the field and to policy makers at the national and the European level.
Promoting health and prevent disease through addressing health determinants across all policies and activities. Health determinants, Strand 3.
The project addressed the issue of HIV/AIDS in relation to mobile and migrant populations, with a specific focus on young people, in the European Member States and the applicant countries of the European Union. These populations are in a disadvantaged position regarding prevention, care and support, which leads to worrying health inequalities.
With the enlargement of the European Union, mobility into and within Europe will grow, which makes increasing efforts in the field of health promotion necessary. Europe has become a far larger multicultural and mobile society than ten years ago, and the group of young people living with HIV/AIDS has unfortunately become bigger as well. In the meantime, ten accession countries were going to join the European Union. In these countries, especially young people are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS because of their high level of mobility and their high-risk behaviour, such as unprotected sex, drug use and sex work. Considering these realities, we can not separate ethnicity, mobility and young people as different themes or concerns. Communicable diseases in general, and HIV/AIDS in particular are important health risks that need to be addressed in a way that is appropriate for the respective populations, i.e. mobile populations and young people. In this context, public health measures are of great importance, both with respect to monitoring and surveillance, as with respect to the dissemination of information.
The proposed project responded to this challenge by operating a centre of expertise, with contact persons in all European Member States and the applicant countries, by collecting, disseminating and developing information, knowledge and best practice regarding prevention, care and support with respect to the subject.
Over the last decade, the NIGZ has co-ordinated two European projects in the field of HIV/AIDS: AIDS & Mobility and AIDS & Youth. Both projects have built up comprehensive knowledge and expertise with regard to HIV/AIDS and specific target populations. They have collaborated with National Focal Points in all European Member States. The networks that have been created, comprise a broad variety of organisations at different levels, from community-based associations to public health institutes and policy makers. The network members have expressed the need to continue the work and stressed that a joint venture of both networks would unite our capacities in the field of HIV. A fusion between both networks should enhance the exchange of expertise and is in line with EU policy.
Continuity: The methods were built upon the experiences and expertise of the European networks AIDS & Mobility and AIDS & Youth. They have access to comprehensive knowledge and data about policies, which were made available to new partners (applicant countries) …and Innovation: the project addressed new issues and developed innovative responses to the epidemic. The NFPs and contact persons addressed five major issues identified in the 2 networks: 1) consequences of epidemiological trends in specific sub-groups, 2) the situation of migrant, mobile and young people in the applicant countries, 3) (young) migrants living with HIV/AIDS, 4) access to prevention, care and support for people with an uncertain resident status, 5) gender issues.
The project-line was based on three main tracks:
A) Intervention strategies: The participating countries was clustered in five working groups around the five major issues and collect in-depth information and best practice on the subjects of their interest, together with their national networks. • Expert meetings at the national and the European level provided the necessary background and in-depth knowledge regarding the respective issues. • National and European pilot/sub-projects were set up to examine certain approaches (described in separate reports) • At the end, the results of the working groups was presented as a comprehensive intervention report, which was included in the final report of the project and at the final European conference.
B) Trend reports: Every country was invited to write a ‘trend report`, which gave an overview on diagnosis on: epidemiology, best practice, new approaches and recommendations. These main results of these national reports was summarised in the final project report.
C) Strategic developments: to set out strategic developments, three policy meetings were organised. National and European policy experts were invited together with the Advisory Board of the project; to stimulate agenda setting, advocacy issues/campaigns and collaboration at a European level. Strategies for policies and interventions were identified and the results were described in the final project report as well.
Role of the NFP Network: The objectives were achieved in close collaboration with a network of National Focal Points (NFPs) in the European Member States and with contact persons in the applicant countries. The NFP network already existed; they had access to comprehensive knowledge with respect to mobile populations and young people through their national networks. The network of contact persons in the applicant countries was developed in the first year of the project period.
Overall activities and services
- NFP Meetings: the NFPs met annually to provide the project with a pan-European overview on the main challenges in terms of contents, and to continue the effective collaboration within the network of the project.
- The European Migrants Meeting was made of a forum at which community experts in the field of migration and HIV/AIDS exchange experience, expertise and views. The meeting was an opportunity to identify new issues, problems, solutions and recommendations of the populations involved, and to communicate them to health workers and policy makers.
- The Final European Conference was meant to invite intermediaries of the network, to present the results of the project and sub-projects, workshops to formulate priorities for the future and a information exchange. The results of this conference was taken in account in the final report.
- Exchange programmes: To enable participants to learn about the methodologies and interventions to address mobile populations and young people. - Info Centre: a documentation, consultancy and referral service accessible to a wide audience. Databases on organisations in the field (1.200 entries) and on publications and education materials (900 entries) ; website www.aidsmobility.org : important as a help-desk function.
By the end of the project period, the following results are available:
• Trend reports, policy recommendations and intervention strategies about the five major issues of the five working groups:
1. consequences of epidemiological trends in specific sub-groups,
2. the situation of migrant, mobile and young people in the applicant countries,
3. young migrants living with HIV/AIDS,
4. access to prevention, care and support for people with an uncertain resident status,
5. gender issues.
• National trend reports, in which the state of affairs (including epidemiological developments) in the participating countries with respect to migration and youth is summarised; and concerning policy, practice and capacity requirements/recommendations for the future affairs.
• a report of the European Migrants Meeting, in which the major problems regarding HIV/AIDS and migrant, mobile and young people are highlighted;
• reports of the NFP meetings, concerning pan-European overview and collaboration;
• a report of the capacity building meetings, concerning agenda setting in Europe;
• a report on the final European conference, its working group presentations, workshops and national and European products;
• six newsletters (2 per year) with background information about the issue;
• a comprehensive website, that provides a help-desk and access to all relevant data and information gathered in the framework of the project;
• delegates from governmental and non-governmental organisations will have participated in skills-building activities (such as expert meetings, training workshops, exchange programmes etc.).
The dissemination of the results was realised in the following way: • general mailings (e.g. the Newsletter, final report) was sent to the entire network of the project (more than 1,200 addresses)
• selected mailings to interested parties about specific issues
• dissemination of publications through the network of National Focal Points
• electronic mailings on the main activities of the project
• availability through website (reports and other documents that can be downloaded directly) at the final European conference the results were disseminated to experts in the field.