Project BORDERNETwork 2008-2009


3.2. HIV/STI Prevention among special target groups — Ethnic minority groups (Roma)


Examples from practice:


Model region VII (Bulgaria/ Romania/ Moldova)




  • As a part of the community-based approaches for HIV prevention in two Roma communities in Sofia and Plovdiv (the biggest communities in Bulgaria), Bulgarian partners have carried out three series of Peer Leader trainings from March to December. The offer was aimed at young men aged between 16 -26 and included nine workshops (each 3 hours), altogether 29 Peer Leaders participated. The main thematic emphasizes were put on: HIV / STI prevention and communication on sexual health, clarify the errors and myths about the routes of infection, safer sex, risk assessment and reduction, social communication skills, self-efficacy, teaching / consulting of peers and outreach work. Afterwards the participants had to approach other young men about this theme and to mediate contact to the team. The training program has been accompanied by social offers and psychological consulting in the Roma community.
  • The offer was supplemented by medical diagnosis and treatment for highly marginalized Roma community members with high risk behavior. 41 young men, who (occasionally) are active as prostitutes, have been examined for HIV / Syphilis / Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. The patients were transferred to the STI services and their treatment was arranged for free on the project.
  • The partner HESED completed in Sofia the continuous street work in the prostitution scene by an additional service. In June a seminar for prostitutes proceeded, that showed first signs of a self-organization of the group. The seminar dealt with issues of prevention and in addition the security and rights of sex workers during work.





  • Peer trainings for Roma Youngsters within the high risk community were held. Two Roma peer groups with a total of 15 participants could be completed.
  • Ongoing outreach work in the Roma neighborhood “Fakulteta” in Sofia with a special attention for Roma Youngsters engaged in MSM prostitution. Condoms, lubricants and consultations are provided. 213 Roma youngsters received outreach services with a total of 792 contacts in 2009.
  • 30 High Risk Roma Youngsters from Sofia were tested for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV and the infected persons received treatment. They were recruited during ongoing outreach work in the neighborhood of “Fakulteta”.