Signed Annex to the Protocol on the US donation
Today, at the Military Medical Academy, Bojan Jocić, MSc, State Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, and Kyle Scott, Ambassador of the United States of America in Belgrade, have signed the Annex to the Protocol on the US donation under the U.S. Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP). The event was also attended by the Chief of the Military Health Department, Brigadier General Uglješa Jovičić, MD–PhD, and Acting Head of the MMA Colonel Prof. Miroslav Vukosavljević with associates.
State Secretary Bojan Jocić said that this year, the 1st December – World AIDS Day, marks its 30th anniversary, and in our country it is traditionally marked by continuing the cooperation between the Ministries of Defence of the Republic of Serbia and the United States of America in the prevention of this unfortunately incurable disease. The U.S. Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) includes our army together with the armies of 80 countries in the world, which confirms the fact that HIV infection is globally considered a particularly important problem in military populations because it has a major impact on both national and international security.
In that sense, good international cooperation, cooperation between medical experts, scientists and finally the armies, without which prevention and suppression of this infection would not be possible, is crucial. Preventive activities in our army are also important for the continued participation of members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces in peacekeeping operations in the Sub-Saharan Africa region with more than two-thirds of all the people living with HIV worldwide, State Secretary Jocić said. He pointed out that the fight against HIV is waged on equally important fronts with the same goal and this is prevention of new infections and early diagnosis and treatment of already infected people, and thanked the United States for their previous cooperation.
Ambassador Kyle Scott said that he was particularly honoured, on the eve of the 1st December, to announce a donation of the donation of the equipment for the HIV/AIDS prevention and testing facilities provided by the US Department of Defense to the Serbian Army in support of joint efforts to combat this serious illness. Despite the fact that nearly 40 million people worldwide are infected and live with the HIV virus, with the early detection and antiretroviral therapy, AIDS diagnosis does not have to be fatal.
“Military personnel are highly susceptible to the spread of AIDS because they are deployed around the world, in areas where blood stock control is not entirely reliable, and the risk is more tolerated. For this reason, since 2006, the US Department of Defense has donated to Serbia more than $ 1 million assistance”, Ambassador Scott said.
At the meeting preceding the signing of the annex to the protocol on this year's donation, the participants in the meeting spoke about activities in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and the realization of the US assistance to date. Lieutenant Colonel Željko Jadranin, MD, from the Institute of Epidemiology of the Military Medical Academy gave a presentation on the development of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Program in the Serbian Armed Forces over the last 12 years.