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Highly active prevention: scale up HIV/AIDS/STI prevention, diagnostic and therapy across sectors and borders in CEE and SEE. [BORDERNETwork] [20091202] - Project
General objectives

Overarching goal is the improved prevention, diagnostic and treatment of HIV/AIDS/STIs through bridging gaps in practice, policies and cross-border cooperation.
Specific objectives:
- To scale up the implementation of combination prevention through network cooperation on national, regional and cross-border level in CEE and SEE
-To advance the evidence of HIV/STIs risks through outline of comparable risk behavioural indicators among vulnerable groups and to bridge findings to effective prevention
-To scale up early diagnosis of HIV/STIs for most at risk groups based on human and gender rights
-To augment country-specific evidence on treatment of HIV and co-infections (TB, HCV), to enhance interlinks in referral systems and develop guidelines for management and treatment of HIV Co-infections
-To improve HIV/STIs community based prevention for ethnic minorities (e.g. ROMA) and migrant groups through capacity building in participatory prevention
-To enhance accountability and evidence-based evaluation in youth HIV/STIs prevention, sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

BORDERNETwork focuses both disease causes and underlying social determinants of health, aiming to improve responses to prevention offers and accessibility of care services. The link of research findings to practice enhances the host of public health knowledge and regional competences. The approach’s cornerstone, highly active prevention shows high relevance. The concurrent advancement of HIV/STIs prevention, diagnostic and treatment overcomes current pitfalls, which aggravate health inequalities. The cross-topic focus with robust inter-links contributes substantially to action 3.3.2. “Promote healthier ways of life and reduce major diseases by tackling health determinants” and in particular to sub-action “Sexual health and HIV-AIDS” of the annual work programme. The project is also relevant to sub-action “Public health capacity building” improving communication competence of health professionals, inter-sectoral exchange and dissemination of good practices.

Methods and means

The methods applied are interlinked so as to ensure optimal synergy effects between work packages. The results produced by research and development methods are further worked out by prevention and service provision methods through outline of tools, manuals, guides and recommendations.
They encompass:
- Networking and capacity building – regional network coordination meetings, expert exchange visits, competence trainings, medical workshops, conferences;
- Situation analysis – rapid assessment and response (RAR) surveys, fact finding missions, desk review, interviews and focus groups;
- Research - behaviour HIV/STIs surveillance among sex workers, sentinel surveillance (STI-clients/patients), qualitative surveys (interview, focus group), assessment of quality of HIV VCT, HIV/STIs diagnostic and treatment procedures;
- Skills Training - exchange of models in early diagnostic for vulnerable groups, evidence based participatory HIV prevention among ethnic minorities;
- Development of quality assurance tool for youth HIV prevention, sexual and reproductive health programmes.

Expected outcomes period

3 major outcomes will be produced: synergy between core strands of HIV/AIDS prevention, diagnostic and treatment, transparency and permeability of health and social service for vulnerable groups, sustainability through transfer of effective working procedures. The improved effectiveness and efficiency on regional and cross-border level in interdisciplinary response to AIDS/STIs and scale up of HIV/STI-testing will put forward the practical implementation of HIV combination prevention. The synergies in inter-sectoral cooperation, the improved accessibility of prevention and diagnostic services and transferred intervention models will be assured by the generated cross-border network competency and will result in regional ownerships. The involvement of the national AIDS programme levels (also co-financing, eg German MoH) will contribute to the sustainable deployment of the outcomes.

Start date: 01/01/2010
End date: 01/01/2013
Duration: 36 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: Second Programme of Community action in the Field of Health 2008-2013
EC Contribution: € 1 243 475,00