HIV, AIDS, and Sexually Transmitted Infections
Every day, an estimated 5,700 people are infected with HIV, and more than 1 million contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Currently, an estimated 35 million people are living with HIV and in sub-Saharan Africa – the majority of 15 to 24 year olds living with HIV are female. While new cases have been reported in all regions of the world, approximately 68% are in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, 15% of all people living with HIV are under the age of 24, while 40% of all new infections happen among people under the age of 25. Clearly, the need for quality HIV, AIDS, and STI services is more important than ever.
While HIV treatment is becoming more widely available in developed countries, such treatment still eludes many people living in the world’s poorest communities. Currently, health care systems in most of the developing world struggle to provide even the most basic health services. In these places, not only is medication often unavailable, but health care providers are not adequately trained to help clients prevent HIV or STIs or to treat or counsel men and women living with HIV or AIDS. Additionally, health workers often discriminate against people living with HIV and perpetuate the stigma surrounding HIV in their workplaces and communities.
EngenderHealth is addressing these inequities in care by training healthcare providers, improving health services, and advocating for national policies that respond to the needs of people living with HIV. EngenderHealth is:
- Improving access to critical HIV services, including HIV counseling and testing; HIV treatment, care, and support; and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
- Reducing stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS in health care settings
- Improving the safety and effectiveness of existing clinical services, including reducing the risk of transmitting HIV and other STIs
- Integrating HIV and AIDS services with sexual and reproductive health services to better meet clients’ comprehensive needs
- Promoting the right of people living with HIV to access sexual and reproductive health care, including family planning
- Providing women, men, and youth with comprehensive information needed to make informed and voluntary decisions about ways to prevent HIV and other STIs
- Increasing access to adult male circumcision, a procedure proven to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV from a female partner
- Engaging men as partners in reproductive health
By joining forces with government health ministries, community-based organizations, and local health facilities, EngenderHealth is implementing HIV and AIDS programs that are effective and sustainable in countries such as Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, among others.