Living with HIV and treatment in Bulgaria

How life is changing after the diagnosis and where to find HIV treatment in Bulgaria

Undoubtedly, the HIV diagnosis is a shock to most people, regardless whether they expected it or not. The good news is that for long time now HIV is not a death sentence, but rather a chronic condition like any other. However, in the first days and months after diagnosis, new patients need support to cope with the new condition. Life after diagnosis undoubtedly changes, but these changes are not so drastic and in the long run will not have too much of an impact on everyday life.

The new state of health will require a little more care for personal health and a little more attention during sex, but HIV in no way is a reason for not having sex in the future.

If you have recently learned that you are HIV positive and need help to navigate the healthcare system, contact us for support.

Currently there is no cure for HIV, but with proper treatment and medical care, HIV can be controlled. The therapy used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. can be controlled. The therapy used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken correctly, every day, it can drastically prolong the lives of people with HIV, keep them healthy and significantly reduce the chances of transmitting the virus to others. Today, a person diagnosed with HIV who has started treatment as soon as possible and adheres to it can live as long as someone who is not infected with HIV.

The antiretroviral therapy available in Bulgaria is the same as in other European countries. Here it is provided free of charge to patients and is paid for by the Ministry of Health. For foreign national who do not have Bulgarian citizenship procedures are slightly different and vary depending on the citizenship. If you are a foreigner in Bulgaria and need HIV treatment, contact our Sexual health and HIV program.

Why is it important to start HIV treatment?

Medical research has shown that the earlier a person starts treatment, the better for his long-term health. Therefor:

  • other systems in the body are protected
  • the impairments on the neurocognitive abilities are reduced
  • there is no chance that the virus will be transmitted to sexual partners.

It has already been conclusively proven that people who take ART have an undetectable viral load (the amount of virus in the body is so low that it cannot be detected), which means that they cannot transmit the virus to their (sexual) partners even if they do not use a condom. This theory became known worldwide as U = U (Undetectable = Untransmittable).

Psycho-social and emotional support


There are five specialized units for HIV treatment in Bulgaria located at university hospitals in Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Pleven.

Sofia: Specialized Hospital for Active Treatment of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases "Prof. Ivan Kirov", 
address: 1606 Sofia, 17 "Akad. Ivan Geshov" blvd., tel.: (02) 9023 732 (doctors); (02) 9023 733 (nurses)
Assoc. prof. Dr. Nina Yancheva - Chief of Department of acquired immune deficiency
Plovdiv:  University Hospital for Active Treatment "St. Georgi", Clinic of Infectious Diseases, 
address: 66 "Peshtersko shose" blvd., tel.: (032) 602 746; (032)602 989
Prof. Dr. Mariana Stoycheva-Vartigova - Chief of the Clinic of Infectious Diseases and HIV unit

Varna:  University Hospital for Active Treatment "St. Marina", Clinic of Infectious Diseases
address: 100 "Tsar Osvoboditel" St. - Specialized Sector for Treatment of HIV/AIDS, located on the territory of St. Anna hospital (district hospital)
Dr. Minas Kozmidis – Specialized HIV treatment unit within First infectious diseases clinic, tel: (052) 978 703

Pleven:  University Hospital for Active Treatment "Dr. Georgi Stranski", Clinic of Infectious Diseases
address: 8А "Georgi Kochev" blvd., tel.: (064) 886 439; (064) 886 415
Prof. Dr. Tstetsa Doychinova, Chief of the Clinic of Infectious Diseases

Stara Zagora: University Hospital for Active Treatment "Prof. Dr. Stoyan Kirkovich", Clinic for Infectious Diseases
address: 2 "General Stoletov" St., tel.: (042) 698 420
Prof. Dr. Lilia Petkova, Chief of the Clinic of Infectious Diseases