Serbia Making Progress Against HIV/AIDS, Health Minister Says
The number of people living with HIV and dying from AIDS-related causes in Serbia is reaching a plateau because of bolstered prevention measures in the country, Health Minister Tomica Milosavljevic said at a recent press conference, Radio B92 reports. "We have good results that we can be happy with," Milosavljevic said, adding that the country has guaranteed access to no-cost antiretroviral drugs. However, Milosavljevic said that only about 4% of Serbia's population has taken an HIV test.
UNICEF Country Director Judith Reichenberg at the press conference highlighted various issues, including stigma and discrimination, that HIV-positive people face worldwide. Milos Stojkovic, president of the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, said that he supports the implementation of a law that would prohibit HIV/AIDS-related discrimination, adding that two such laws have been considered by Serbia's Parliament.
About 1,400 HIV/AIDS cases have been recorded in Serbia since 1985, according to Radio B92. The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in October 2007 approved a five-year grant worth 9.5 million euros, or about $14.7 million, for Serbia's Ministry of Health (Radio B92, 5/15).