Civil Society Fund (CSF) Project on HIV/AIDS Prevention.
The project is on scaling up comprehensive evidence based HIV prevention through community engagement. The project is funded by Civil Society Fund (CSF) and it is being implemented in Kabwoya and Kyangwali sub-counties of Hoima District. The implementation process started in October 2013. The project timeframe is 3 years. The project target categories of people are; Fisher folks, Commercial Sex Workers, Youth out of school, couples and pregnant women.
The project is using a combination of strategies including radio sensitization programmes, HIV Counseling and testing outreaches, community-based sensitization meetings in trading centres, market squares and villages.
In partnership with government health centers 2, 3 and 4, HIV counseling and testing outreaches are being organized so that people can be tested in their localities. The HIV positive clients are being referred for HIV care and treatment to the nearest Health centers. The following are the cores for this project implementation; HIV Counseling and Testing, elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (eMTCT), Antenatal care Services, Safe Male Circumcision and Sexual Reproductive Health.
It is expected that the proposed solution shall tremendously reduce incidences of new HIV infections among the targeted groups (fishermen, commercial sexual workers, oil exploration workers, youth and market vendors). It is expected to increase people's knowledge, change their attitude with broader packages on sensitization on BCC and more people will be turning up to access HIV preventive services which should contribute to the reduction of new infections.
- Project has reached 4,810 individuals of the target population with HIV Counseling and testing services. This included 2,441 men and 2,369 women. Gender has been integrated in the project men and women are well represented. Out of 4,810 individuals 92 were found HIV positive and have been referred to Kyangwali and Kabwoya Health Centres for HIV care and treatment. The prevelance rate for the communities reached stands at approximately 2% by September 2014.
- The Project through community resource persons has mobilised and sensitized men on safe male circumcision (SMC). The men have been sensitized on the procedure of SMC and benefits of SMC. A total of 342 men have been circumcised at Kikube Health Centre IV in collaboration with Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI).
- The project through community resource persons (99 ie 45 VHTs, 45 Peer educators and 9 PLHIVs) has reached 12,246 individuals (52% females) of the key populations with Behavior Change Communication (BCC) messages such; Basic facts on HIV/AIDS, Abstinence, Be faithful, Safe male circumcision, eMTCT, SRH, Social cultural drivers of HIV, Gender and HIV. This is mainly through peer to peer and small group discussions and it has helped community members acquire knowledge and skills of promoting safer sexual practices in HIV/AIDS Prevention. In addition community members are sensitized through drama shows and “Kizindalo” mobilization and sensitization on HIV/AIDS in hot spots.
- Project has distributed over one hundred (100) IEC materials to CRPs and community members in Kabwoya and Kyangwali sub-counties. The IEC materials were on; Be a good parent today (This is meant to reduce Sexual and Gender Based Violence and also promote Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights), Promote adolescents’ access to sexual and reproductive health information and care, Are you Pregnant (eMTCT) and General Information on HIV/AIDS. These are meant to build capacity of CRPs by reading the IEC materials intensively and also promote behavior change communication in relation to HIV/AIDS.
- Ten interactive radio talk shows have been held on different radio stations in Hoima and these include radio Mario, Liberty FM and Spice FM. The topics discussed include; HIV counselling and testing, Discordance, Socio-cultural drivers of HIV/AIDS epidemic, National HIV/AIDS Prevention strategies and Safe Male Circumcision (SMC).
- The Project has held forty (40) community dialogue meetings in the different communities of Kyangwali and Kabwoya Sub-counties. The community members have acquired skills and knowledge on the topics discussed during the meetings such as; socio-cultural drivers of HIV/AIDS epidemic, Sexual Gender Based Violence, National HIV/AIDS prevention measures such as SMC, PMTCT, HCT, Abstinence and Faithfulness. The major drivers identified in the communities include; Poverty, Polygamy and Multiple partners. Action points were developed and community members are implementing them to ensure reduced new HIV infection. These include; HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing, Disclosure of HIV sero status, couple testing, men to support pregnant mothers for antenatal care services, abstinence, faithfulness among the marrieds and those in relationships, reporting people using drugs to concerned authorities, safe male circumcision, family planning and solving gender based issues.
During the first three quarters of project implementation there was a shortage of HIV testing kits in the two sub-counties. The maximum number of kits the health units would promise to provide during an outreach was 200. We are happy to report that there is no more stock out of testing kits at the two health centres.
Birungi Josephine of kobusinge village Butoole parish,kyangwali sub county, Hoima District aged 29 single with 2 children was tested positive in 2012 .She could not believe and she refused taking the results claiming that they were not hers.
In March this year, Josephine was visited by our community resource person who was doing home visit and mobilizing people for an outreach which was going to take place and she was told the benefits of HIV counseling and testing. There after she started explaining to the CRP how she was tested positive in 2012, she refused to accept the results and ran away.
During the talk with our CRP,she accepted to come for testing, she wanted to confirm with the previous results because her life was changing ,she started developing rushes, falling sick, on and off cough among other signs. Josephine was tested HIV positive ,she was counseled and given the results then referred her to kyangwali Health Centre IV for care and support.