HIV - AIDS Project
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HIV - AIDS Project

"Living Without Knowing ...

Gizani Mama Campaign Posteris a Walk in the Darkness"

Gizani Baba Campaign PosterThere is much misinformation and fear about HIV, especially in the more rural areas, with people assuming for instance that apparent health in a prospective partner means that they are safe.  There is also reluctance to be tested because of the implications of a positive test.  We know, for example from reported experiences in Uganda, that a climate of openness is an important first stage in addressing the problem of HIV and helping people to change their behaviour patterns.

In addition to this, there are ways in which HIV transmission for example during childbirth can be reduced by medical personnel, and those involved need to be updated on better practices.

The plans at St Luke’s Dispensary sought to address all of these areas.  We ran a 2 year project with CARE International, until March 2004, which will continue under Geneva Global until March 2005..

Project Aims

  1. To provide a Christian Counselling and Testing Service open to those of all faiths, so that people can be sensitively Counselled, and be able to live positively whether they have the virus or not.

  2. To use strong relationships with the local Church to set up an army of Village Based Advisors who will be able to give support and advice to those living with HIV.

  3. To enable the (SASA) Drama Group associated with the Diocese of Mpwapwa to extend their work in HIV education, working with Church drama groups in each Parish in facilitating them to produce their own HIV dramas, so that they grasp the message themselves and pass it on to others in the community.

The work of VCT (Voluntary Counselling and Testing) is one which is continuing at St. Luke’s at present.  Previous experience has shown that the uptake increases hugely when this service is offered free rather than aiming to cover costs.

We have contacts in each parish who have received a small amount of training on HIV, but would like to strengthen this Parish network, so that we have not only educators in the Parishes, but people equipped to provide compassionate care to those affected.

The drama group is well established in teaching Christian Drama in Parishes, but have felt the need to branch out to tackle social issues as well.  This project would enable them to expand this work to reach many more Parishes.

Critical needs to be met by project

The people who live in Mpwapwa are subsistence farmers and among the poorest in Tanzania.

The local incidence of HIV at our VCT centre is 12%   Experience at St. Luke’s Dispensary shows increasing numbers treated for HIV related illnesses.

We aim to motivate people to change their behaviour to avoid infection, and also to provide hope and support for those affected.  The Church is uniquely placed to help in this rôle with ready contacts in each village, and a unique message of hope for those affected by the present problems of HIV/AIDS

Steps to be taken to meet this need

VCT is one good way of empowering people to live well. Experience proves that VCT uptake increases hugely when offered free rather than aiming to cover costs. Pregnant mums can also be screened and treated appropriately. 

Contacts in each Parish have received some general training on HIV, but this skill base will be extended, to have people at village level equipped to provide compassionate home care to those affected, with expert back up from St Luke’s.

The drama group is well established in teaching Christian Drama in Parishes but sees a pressing need to address social issues also.  This project enables them to expand this work into many more Parishes.  Participating actively in drama is an excellent way to increase people’s engagement and understanding.

Results

Intended Results

People in the church will be engaged with the current HIV epidemic, and motivated to be salt and light in the community.  Fear and stigma will turn into compassion and practical care.  50,000 will have a trained carer in their village and their youth will have their vision changed through doing drama.

Measurable results include: -

The number counselled and tested for HIV.

The number skilled and equipped to do home care visits.

The number of families living with HIV visited and helped.

The number of drama groups facilitated.

HIV - AIDS Project

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