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coupleThe current project on "Improving the sexual and reproductive health of persons living with HIV" is the fifth consecutive EUROSUPPORT project (2005-2008). It is a research and development project embedded in a European research and support network (Eurosupport) consisting of HIV-treatment centres, NGOs, and research organisations. The general EUROSUPPORT philosophy has been to evaluate the needs of PLWH and to detect shortcomings in the actual service provision both with respect to the delivery of medical care and psychosocial support. As HIV-progression and treatment options have changed constantly, so did related clinical and psychosocial challenges. Also the needs of persons affected have changed. Care providers have been facing the challenge to respond adequately and quickly to the changing needs of patients. The network supports them in this task by providing up-to-date expertise and insight into newly emerging HIV-related problems.
eurosupport 6
The Eurosupport network has been initiated, guided, and co-ordinated by the ITM's Department of Clinical Sciences (Prof. Dr. Robert Colebunders). It started in 1996 and more than 15 European HIV-treatment centres in different European countries have participated since.

The Eurosupport projects 1996 - 2004: An Overview

Eurosupport I (1996-1998)
focused on the utilization of health care organizations, attitudes towards euthanasia, experience with HIV-testing, and financial aspects.
Eurosupport II (1998-2000)
concentrated on the effects of antiretroviral therapies, after the introduction of HAART on a large scale in Western countries.
Eurosupport III (2000-2002)
looked more in-depth into problems of adherence as well as into the occurrence of what PLWH felt as a major impediment to their quality of life, namely sexual dysfunctions. The problem of how to integrate safer sex counselling into standard HIV care was investigated.
Eurosupport IV (2002-2004)
project looked at the family context of HIV and related questions for those families confronted with HIV. Complex family-dynamics in these families are not only of practical relevance for those directly affected, they are also of major public health-concern since more women (and men) living with HIV will opt for having children in the future.

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