Using social media to help marginalized groups get HIV services during COVID-19

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Fulvia Saldaña, a community outreach worker with the organization Viviendo Positivamente, talks with one of her clients whom she keeps in contact with through social media.

In response to increasing COVID-19 cases, Panama imposed rigorous restrictions to contain the disease. People were limited to six hours outside the home each week, with men and women allowed out on alternate days. The measures had some success, leading to a gradual easing of restrictions, but concerns regarding the impact of lockdowns on marginalized groups, particularly those most at risk of HIV, have been mounting.

Isolated in their homes for six months, sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender people — faced a frightening new reality. With many health facilities closed or re-purposed to fight COVID-19, people struggled to access life-saving HIV services. Transgender people faced the threat of increased discrimination when leaving their homes on particular days, and sex workers faced the dilemma of either being pushed further into poverty or continuing to work at increased risk to themselves and their clients. …


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The StartIT co-working space. One of over ten co-working spaces in Belgrade, Serbia. Photos courtesy of StartIT

Digital nomads are people who choose where they live and work, since their employment is mainly virtual, changing locations often. Their jobs cover a wide range from graphic design, digital marketing and writing, to blockchain, e-commerce, and programming.

At UNDP Serbia’s Accelerator Lab, we became interested in digital nomads because we have been working on understanding the topic of depopulation in Serbia for a while.

Depopulation is a global issue affecting a range of countries, some aspects of which are low birth rate, high emigration and no immigration. …


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A 125-year-old vineyard, Podrumi Vukoje 1982 is well known for its high quality products.

It’s September in Trebinje, an ancient region in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the grape harvest is in full swing.

On the 30 hectares of ‘Podrumi Vukoje 1982’ vineyard harvesters began work in the early morning, as they try to get the harvest in before the hottest part of the day arrives. With more than 150 gold medals from national and international wine competitions a 125-year-old vineyard, Podrumi Vukoje 1982 is well known for its high quality products, not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but in the markets all over the world.

“We are winery that deals exclusively with high quality wine production and we are the leader in this sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In order to keep this leading position, we need to constantly invest in new technologies and follow international trends” says owner Radovan Vukoje, as he takes the short break from his work. …

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