ABOUT NELP_

About NeLP

History of NeLP:

The Network of Low Prevalence Countries of Central and South East Europe (NeLP) was established in July 2011. The key issues and founding goals of the network are summed up in its Budapest Declaration.

The network includes Albania, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cy-prus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

The NeLP Coordinating Committee was formed in October 2011; the NeLP strategic plan for 2012/2017 was developed in 2012.

Improved access to testing and treatment were, and remain, key aims. The region has some of the lowest testing rates in Europe. NeLP members participated in the 1st European Testing Week (ETW) in 2013. However regional engagement was low.

NeLP needs to challenge regional testing obstacles in highly stigmatized, low HIV prevalence C&SEE more systemically. Toward that aim, the NeLP Secretariat was established in 2014 and hosted in Belgrade at Q Club, one of the member organiza-tions, to better coordinate and fund NeLP activities. NeLP was greatly aid-ed in this effort with a grant from ViiV via IHP.

NeLP’s Overcoming obstacles to HIV testing project (OOTT) was launched later that year to identify and address obstacles to testing in Central and South East Europe (C&SEE), coordinate local and regional activities to improve testing rates and reduce late presentation. Cooperation with ETW was established and local task forces were developed in most of the NeLP countries resulting in doubling regional activity in 2014 ETW.

The Access to Treatment project (ATT) also launched in 2014 to identify appropriate advocacy strategies to reduce treatment stock outs and improve overall access. One of the key results of the meeting was the Call for Action, which challenges gov-ernments, pharmaceutical companies and the affected communities to increase ef-forts towards securing sustainable and quality treatment.

The Cross Region Exchange project was initiated in 2014 in order to initiate a dia-logue between activists in the low HIV prevalence countries of the Middle East and C&SEE. The initial meeting identified the crosscutting issues/obstacles of concern in these regions and proposed 2015 key steps as information exchange, net-working and capacity building.

 

Goals and objectives:

We want to keep our countries low HIV prevalent and help those already infected remain healthy and productive members of dynamic and just societies.

The overall NeLP objectives are:

  • To advance effective strategies and activities appropriate to low HIV preva-lence realities
  • To develop strong working relations among community organisations in the region to increase positive awareness of the issue in the general public and, as a result, reduce stigma, which severely affects the lives of people living with HIV in the region
  • To ensure effective and always available treatment and diagnostics
  • To increase comprehensive, targeted and evidence-based prevention pro-grams
  • To promote effective testing in the region
  • To reduce late presentation
  • To promote operable and efficient legal regulation in countries in the region
  • To build working ties with other low HIV prevalence regions like the Middle East and North Africa, as possible and appropriate.

Keep It Low!

 

Achievements so far:

Achievements of NeLP in period 2011-2014 include:

  • Formed a network of 150 HIV activists and advocates in 18 NeLP countries
  • Developed a strategy for improving response to HIV in low prevalence set-tings
  • Established cooperation with other international organisations, networks and interests and problems of the low prevalence settings duly represented
  • Formed Overcoming Obstacles to Testing (OOTT) project and local task forces in most of the NeLP countries
  • Identified obstacles to HIV testing in the NeLP countries
  • Determined actions to overcome the identified obstacles to HIV testing, and developed an action plan accordingly
  • Participated in European HIV Testing Week 2014 and, with promotion and motivation, doubled participation from NeLP countries
  • Identified obstacles to access to HIV treatment in the NeLP countries
  • Determined actions to overcome the identified obstacles to access to HIV treatment and developed a general action plan accordingly
  • Prepared, translated and promoted a call for action which challenges gov-ernments, pharmaceutical companies, and the affected communities to in-crease efforts towards securing sustainable and quality treatment
  • Developed cross region cooperation and exchange between the C&SEE and Middle East regions
  • Built internal capacities and strength of the network by establishing a NeLP Secretariat and adequate internet presence.