Every day, an estimated 5,400 people become infected with HIV globally, and more than 1 million contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Currently, an estimated 37 million people are living with HIV, more than two-thirds of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa. While new cases have been reported in all regions of the world, approximately 68% are in Sub-Saharan Africa and 40% of all new infections happen among people under the age of 25. Women account for more than half the total number of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Clearly, the need for quality HIV, AIDS, and STI services is more important than ever.
While HIV treatment is becoming more widely available globally, such treatment still eludes many people living in the world’s poorest communities. Health care systems in many developing countries struggle to provide even basic health services. Although many more people have started HIV care and treatment in the past few years, there are still many challenges; not only is medication often unavailable in some places, but there are not adequate numbers of health care providers 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 health care 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 voluntary 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 Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, among others.
Recently, the CHAMPION Project worked for six years to increase men’s positive involvement in preventing the spread of HIV in Tanzania. Supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development through the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the project took a holistic approach to HIV prevention and addresses the underlying gender issues that drive HIV transmission. Over the life of the project, CHAMPION reached more than 345,000 individuals with HIV and reproductive health interventions, and over 260,000 individuals with interventions for preventing gender-based violence. CHAMPION’s campaign against gender-based violence received the prestigious Avon Global Communications Award. Watch videos and read more about it on the project’s page.
EngenderHealth is a key partner on the new Sauti-TZ project, led by Jhpiego, which began in early 2015. Sauti-TZ is working to provide services to key and vulnerable populations in support of Tanzania’s commitment to HIV prevention. The populations that are the focus of Sauti-TZ activities include sex workers, men who have sex with men, young women aged 15–24, men in mobile populations, and male clients of sex workers.