Serbian and U.S. ministries of defense continue to cooperate on the HIV/AIDS Control and Prevention Programme in the Serbian Army

23. 06. 2011

Representative of the HIV / AIDS Control and Prevention Programme Dr Freda Vaughan and Major Paul Puchta from the U.S. European Command visited the Republic of Serbia’s Ministry of Defense, including the Military Medical Academy, from 19th to 23rd June 2011.
This one-of-a-kind disease prevention programme covers 80 countries, including Serbia. In the last five years, from 2005 to 2011, countries are given funding via the programme’s competitions and this money is spent on purchasing the needed means, equipment and computers for our training centre. The money is also used towards printing promotional materials. The entire acquisition was carried out via the U.S. Embassy.
After a brief presentation of the project in front of the people who are experts in diagnosing, treating and preventing HIV / AIDS among military staff, we talked to Dr Freda Vaughan about our activities. These activities include providing relevant equipment for the Infectious and Tropical Diseases Clinic and Institute for Transfusion, Microbiology, Medical Research and Mental Health, as well as training in army’s medical facilities. Doctors and psychologists were involved in carrying out the aformentioned activities. Only last year, 11,000 soldiers underwent relevant training, while, in collaboration with the Institute for Transfusion, 5,000 people were tested on the risks of catching up sexually transmitted diseases.
Within the framework of the project, each year, we celebrate 1st December – the World AIDS Day – when we conduct various activities including distribution of promotional materials among the soliders stationed in the Land Safety Zone and those attending the Military Academy.
The guests visited the Training Centre for land forces in Požarevac, the Institute for Preventive Medical Care in Niš, the forces that underwent medical staff training and the Niš military hospital.
At the end of her visit, Dr Freda Vaughan said that she was happy with everything she saw and heard, and added that Serbia was one of the few countries that made the biggest headway in implementation of the programme while doing everything in its power for the allocated funds to be spent appropriately.

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