USAID Romania Family Health Initiative Romania Family Health Initiative

RFHI HIV and AIDS Component

Context · Main Activities · Key Results


The incidence of HIV in Romania is among the highest in Eastern Europe. In addition, Romania has the highest number of youth in the region living with HIV and AIDS as a result of unsafe blood transfusion practices carried out in previous years. According to the 2006 UNAIDS report, the prevalence rate of HIV and AIDS in Romania is under 0.1 percent with approximately 10,000 people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA). The age group with the largest number of PLWHA in Romania is adolescents.

The RFHI partners recognized the critical role of fostering a strong HIV and AIDS policy environment in post-communist Romania, worked directly with the Ministry of Public Health and key NGOs to develop HIV and STI prevention initiatives, and provided technical assistance to develop the standards and protocols, training materials, and monitoring and evaluation instruments to implement the national HIV and AIDS strategy.

RFHI used a multi-pronged approach to address the HIV and AIDS pandemic including coordinating and funding the annual national AIDS campaign, conducting awareness and education activities focusing on youth, conducting training programs for journalists on how to address HIV and AIDS issues, supporting NGOs providing counseling and testing services, and focusing outreach activities on vulnerable communities.

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Main Activities

  • Supported the development of national policies, strategies, standards and protocols
  • Provided substantial technical and financial support to annual World AIDS Day campaigns Open your Eyes, Open Your Heart (2002-2007) in partnership with other national and international organizations
  • Supported local NGOs to advocate for PLWHA rights and provide prevention programs and referral services for treatment
  • Supported the National Union of NGOs working with PLWHA (UNOPA) to strengthen its managerial capacity and develop a peer-education program on family planning and other RH issues
  • Contributed to the national grant proposal to the Global Fund to Fight Against HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) for phases 2 and 6
  • Provided technical assistance to the Principal Recipient, Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM) and subrecipients to implement the Global Fund grant
  • Organized anti-discrimination photo contests: The World Seen Through my Eyes (2006) and A Day in my Life (2007)

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Key Results

  • Government officially adopted the National Strategy for HIV and AIDS (2004-2007)
  • Developed guide to raise awareness among journalists about accessing correct information regarding HIV and AIDS
  • Launched a national media campaign targeting young people
  • Supported the Romanian Association Against AIDS (ARAS) project: designed a training curricula for counseling at a voluntary counseling and testing center
  • Worked with other members of the CCM to submit successful national proposals for the 2003 and 2006 rounds for the Global Fund and provided technical assistance to the principal recipient and the sub-recipients
  • Provided technical input in the mid-term evaluation of the National HIV and AIDS Strategy 2004–2007
  • Organized an advocacy training workshop for HIV and AIDS NGOs and provided technical assistance to ARAS to develop its advocacy strategy and communication plan
  • Annual HIV and AIDS Campaigns &Open your Eyes, Open your Heart&
  • Designed a series of three minute video spots with HIV and AIDS anti-discrimination messages

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The Romanian Family Health Initiative (RFHI) is implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.
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Romanian Family Health Initiative (RFHI) Cooperative Agreement #186-A-00-01-00103-00.
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