There has been an increase in the number of cases of HIV in Poland in recent years. In 2018, 1275 cases were discovered and 29 people died of AIDS, and in 2019 there were 1734 cases and 34 deaths (National Public Health Institute – National Institute of Hygiene). Social Education Foundation research in 2017 and 2018 shows that 72% of persons infected commence treatment within one year of infection being discovered. Treatment is not undertaken for instance due to fear of other patients and medical personnel disclosing infection, and tension caused by the stigma of infection (study commissioned by GlaxoSmithKline). Also, men who have sex with men delay starting treatment due to fear of revealing sexual orientation to a physician.
This project addresses the lack of non-institutional, specialist support for people recently found to have HIV.
We will organize two awareness and training webinars for consultation-advice centre consultants and physicians at HIV clinics. We will expand support provided by people living with HIV for people recently diagnosed (face-to-face and online meetings; emotional support provided by a volunteer, company during clinic appointments). We will provide volunteers with supervision and annual three-day training. As advocates for the community, they will participate in a media campaign to combat stigmatization of people living with HIV.
Forty people will receive support, and a campaign to combat stigmatization of seropositive people will be held (twenty articles/press reports) reaching 50 000 people.
Forty people recently diagnosed with HIV will participate (especially men who have sex with men) and twelve volunteers conducting care and self-advocacy activities will participate.