We partner with AIDSLink International in order to impact the global HIV and AIDS pandemic.
Along the Zambian shoreline of Lake Tanganyika are people living in remote villages inaccessible by road. People living in these villages have very limited access to HIV services including; Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) to enable people to know their HIV status, CD4 cell count testing for people found to be living with HIV, and Antiretroviral Treatment (ART), as a direct consequence of their location. These can only be accessed if a person travels by boat to the Ministry Of Health (MOH), Health Centre in Mpulungu. HIV prevalence rates are estimated at 12%.
The medical team work in partnership with the MOH to increase their reach by traveling by boat to these villages to offer HIV services alongside Primary Preventative Health clinics to improve the whole community’s access to these services. Offering HIV services provides members of the community with an improved access to know their HIV status, receive treatment, reducing new HIV infections, improving life expectancy and quality. The team also gives HIV health education to raise awareness and dispel many of the myths and misconceptions about HIV and AIDS. Discussing methods of protection and prevention ensures that people are well informed on how to live with HIV, and how to maintain a negative status, with the goal of reducing HIV transmission.
Women and girls are at high risk of being infected with HIV due to cultural practices of early marriages (pre or early teen) and polygamy. Offering these services within the village to this at risk population helps to prevent Mother To Child Transmission (MTCT) and child mortality. It also ensures that women and girls are empowered to protect themselves from HIV and to make decisions about their own health.