“It’s impressive how Legebitra, Škuc and Dih, University and the institute of Microbiology and immunology and the Clinic for infectious diseases collaborations manage or at least “try” to cooperate together in this project. I would love to stressed this – what maybe seems like a natural thing to do it is actually not easy to succeed. In the rest of Europe and even in my own country NGOs and other are fighting about financing, profession and position. The meaning of documented cooperation in this grants-program is crutial. So keep up the excellent work and try harder if someone isn’t doing their part.
It’s amazing all of the activities that have been done since we where here one year ago. Last august we had an successful visit from a Slovenian delegation in Norway. Where we manage to introduce you to a broad of our partners from Health directorate wich are managing funding of the prevention work done in this field in Norway. Our national lgbt-center. You met the biggest infectious clinic in Norway/Oslo where we as an NGO can refer to care the same day or the next for newly diagnosed HIV patients. Other NGO partners you visit was Hiv Norway, the National Association for lesbians gays bisexuals and transgender people in Norway called LLH wich now have change their name too Fri (FREE). And at last Olafiaklinikken a national recourse center for counseling, examination and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. And which also is a free STD testing service in Oslo.
And as you also saw that the group was invited to see some of our outreach work and to see how we arrange our prevention work in Norway. Especially anonymous community-based rapid testing for hiv/syphilis delivered by our volunteers.
These bilateral visits are very important to exchange knowledge and best-practice experiences in both countries. When we was here last year we very inspired about the work being done here, but also about the energy in the project. How you manage to cooperate with so many partners together with common the same common goals. Based on the visit last year we actually are now planning to try out a new home-sampling metod to make MSM them self take the Gonorea and Clamydia tests, from all openings of course, and make them send the samples to a laboratory for test. One good example we where inspired from the last years visit and data presented in this fora.
Gay and Lesbian Health Norway are participating in different partnerships and we also try to isparticipate in international networks, work and support. We are often contacted by different NGOs in Europe, Russia/Ukraine, Middle East about cooperation.
Infection figures increases while we are testing too little – we need further investment in innovative test offers targeting key populations effected in the HIV epidemic such as MSM. We experiencing an increasing number of sexually transmitted infections gonoré and clamydia among the same target group in our country. Public Health in Norway reports 300 percent increase of HIV cases, 500 percent increase in gonorrhea and 400 percent increase in syphilis among MSM since 2002. Gay and Lesbian Health want to step up tests performed by test pilot projects for home testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections. As of today there are no good data on how many among MSM group tests annually. A combination of representative data and registry data suggest an estimate indicating that only between 15 and 25 percent MSM tests annually.
Maybe also in the future free hometesting for STIs and HIV can be an important method to have more men tested for these infections. Finding MSM who canhave use for PrEP or PEP will also be an issue in the future.”