AVSI Mozambique is implementing the project “Community HIV/AIDS Prevention through Information and Counseling in Pemba” (2016-2017) together with local partners and funding from the US Embassy in Mozambique.
With HIV infection rates around 15% for the general population in Mozambique, the challenge of achieving an AIDS-free generation requires spreading information and services that are targeted to community needs, sensitive to cultural and religious values, and sustained.
AVSI Mozambique has identified the counseling center run by the Irmãs Pastorelas congregation as the only center specifically dedicated to people living with HIV in the neighborhood of Alto Gingone. The Provincial Centre for Fight against HIV/AIDS, while not contributing financially to the costs of the structure, recognizes the unique and essential role played by the Congregation in Alto Gingone. The congregation runs the center independently and their lack of funds is chronic. This center needs to be strengthened and formally linked to the state system to be able to sustainably deliver its essential services.
The second relevant problem that needs to be addressed is the limited knowledge about HIV/AIDS related issues and prevention among young people. According to the Provincial Centre for Fight against HIV / AIDS, the main causes of the spread of HIV are such practices as multiple sexual partners, cross generational sex, commercial sex, low/incorrect condom use, low rate of voluntary diagnostic test, and early initiation into sexual life.
The final problem is a pervasive lack of basic information about HIV/AIDS among the general population in Pemba.
This one-year project will have a multi-dimensional approach involving: strengthening the counseling center, training target groups (young people and traditional leaders) and finally, spreading basic preventative information to a wider audience.
Working both through service supply (counseling center) and information (training and communication), this project will achieve results that are mutually reinforcing, thus triggering a virtuous circle.
The intervention will target the following groups: