CroMSIC’s Standing Committee on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV and AIDS (SCORA), gathers passionate individuals who are committed to promoting sexual and reproductive health in their community and fight for individual’s rights to information and education. SCORA members are incorrigible optimists who, with their positive energy, try to break down all the obstacles and taboo topics of this society.
SCORA’s vision is that every person should be equally aware of their sexual and reproductive rights and encouraged to practice their sexual and reproductive health, in a world without stigma and discrimination. Some of the most important goals of SCORA are: to educate young people, as well as the rest of society, about the importance of sexual and reproductive health; help create a tolerant society and reduce stigma and discrimination of the LGBTQIA+ community; reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS; insist on knowledge based on facts, scientific research and thus break prejudices; promote a positive and healthy sex life.
Topics covered by SCORA are: comprehensive sexuality education, maternal health and access to safe abortion, sexual and gender identity, rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, gender-based violence, free and informed consent, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. SCORA acts in more than one way, starting with the organization of public events, education of young people in primary and secondary schools, education of medical students, organization of parties, distribution of leaflets and (of course) condoms.
Education is the best prevention. This is the basic guiding thought of SCORA. Since prevention is the most effective way to defend against sexually transmitted diseases, our work is based upon raising basic medical knowledge in the general population, with the emphasis on the youth, about the mentioned diseases and their transmission, and acting on bad and unestablished attitudes about healthy and safe sexual behavior.
The area of human rights and discrimination of people living with HIV gains even greater meaning and with our activities, we tend to include ourselves in the battle against discrimination against people living with HIV. There are numerous examples of difficulties that people with HIV must endure; social exclusion, loss of friends, family rejection, loss of work and inability to receive medical aid. Most of the discrimination is due to lack of knowledge, therefore it is important to educate general population about transmitting HIV infection so that they see that HIV cannot be transmitted through normal social contact and that there is no reason for stigmatization.
World AIDS Day
SCORA celebrates: World AIDS Day, International Women’s Day, World Cancer Day, Movember, International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHOT), Pride and the International Candlelight Memorial. In this way, medical students want to raise awareness of their fellow citizens and include as many young people as possible, in events promoting sexual and reproductive health and human rights. The World AIDS Day and the educations held as part of the project eventually grew into one of the largest education projects within CroMSIC – THE Talk.
Finally, we should not forget the international character, i.e. relations with other countries. Every year, SCORA participates in international meetings and symposia such as NORA Weekend, NECSE, General Assemblies, the aim of which is to discuss and exchange experiences and different methods of education between countries in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. All these meetings, in addition to excellent and useful ideas, also resulted in many long-term friendships. Sounds like a perfect combination, right?
Klara Miljanić, NORA