HIV & AIDS: Our Impact

The US Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Deborah Malac, handed the facilities over to the Ministry of Health, represented by Dr. Charles Olaro, the Director of Clinical Services, at a ceremony at Luwunga Health Centre in Wakiso district.

On Thursday, August 22, 2019, the US Government officially handed over the first 14 of 26 newly constructed, prefabricated medicine storage units to the Ugandan Ministry of Health to help scale up the country’s HIV and AIDS epidemic response.The facilities will increase storage space for health commodities, including antiretroviral medicines, and will support the roll-out of the test and treat strategy for achieving HIV and AIDS control. The facilities will help ensure that adequate quantities of HIV medicines are available for Ugandans living with HIV.Dr.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

What is the purpose of the USAID-funded Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceuticals Services (MTaPS) program, and what will the program accomplish?MTaPS recently published a collection of brief publications that provide information on the program’s objectives and planned activities.

 {Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH}MSH staff member, Christopher Ogar, verifies information from a HIV testing services register with facility staff at General Hospital Suleija in Niger state, Nigeria.Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH

In Nigeria, home to the world’s second-largest HIV epidemic, successfully linking every person who tests positive for HIV to accessible and culturally appropriate care and support services is a big challenge.

Story and photos by Aor Ikyaabo Mary John is a 47-year-old mother of two and a hair stylist by profession. She is also one of Nigeria’s mentor mothers — women who provide counseling and essential health education to other HIV-positive mothers in their communities. As a peer and mentor, she teaches these women about how they can prevent their babies from contracting HIV and keep themselves and their families healthy.

{Photo credit: Paul Bwathondi/MSH}Speratus Macarius, a lab technician at Kigamboni Health Centre in Tanzania, checks a test order on the facility’s new electronic medical records system.Photo credit: Paul Bwathondi/MSH

With support from MSH, Tanzania is overhauling its digital health infrastructure, including introducing electronic medical records (EMRs) and a patient ID system, in hopes of dramatically improving its health services, especially for HIV/AIDS.

Reaching key populations with prevention, care, and treatment services is critical to Angola’s fight against HIV. Weekly peer support groups for female sex workers help address structural barriers, such as gender-based violence (GBV), that put them at higher risk for HIV infection. This work starts at ‘hot spots’, venues where female sex workers gather to meet or work.

 {Photo credit: Mary Dauda/MSH}After nearly losing her business, Adekeye Dorcas now mentors HIV positive pregnant mothers in her community and trains apprentices in the art of nylon production.Photo credit: Mary Dauda/MSH

A trader skilled in the art of nylon production, Adekeye Dorcas once generated enough income to provide for her family. During a routine visit to the health center in Kwara state, she tested positive for HIV and was immediately offered counseling services and antiretroviral therapy (ART). The growing demands on her time to travel on open clinic days for ART and the cost of transportation began to threaten her family’s financial stability. She knew that adherence to her treatment was key to allowing her to live positively and ensuring that her husband remained HIV negative.

Linking Mothers and Couples to HIV Testing and CareShortly after the birth of her second child, Manuela dos Santos learned that she was HIV positive. Fearing how her family and friends might react to her diagnosis, she kept her status a secret for weeks. Fortunately, her child was born HIV negative, but Manuela’s health quickly deteriorated. At just 25 years old, she was losing weight, sleep, and the ability to care for her newborn child.Every year in Angola, an estimated 12,000 women aged 15 and over and 3,600 children under 14 years of age are newly infected with HIV.

 {Photo credit: Stanley Stephanus for SIAPS Namibia}Pehovelo Ndahangoudja (left), a registered nurse documents feedback on CBART from Know your Status CASG member Julia Sheepo (2nd from right) and leader Marian Ndahafo Lilonga (right) at Ndamono clinic, Onandjokwe district.Photo credit: Stanley Stephanus for SIAPS Namibia

Health leaders in Namibia had a geographic challenge in delivering antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. The country is among the most affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa, with an estimated HIV prevalence among adults of 16.9% as of 2014. Yet, in a vast country in which two-thirds of the people live in sparsely settled rural sites, how could these leaders make sure essential ARV treatment is accessible to those in need?

May 30th, 2016, LINKAGES’ Peer Educators Training. It is the first day, time for each peer educator-to-be to introduce themselves to the group. Claudia* is nervous and apprehensive as she has never spoken in public before, let alone as a sex worker. With the help from the facilitator, she manages to say a few words, though her voice trembles almost inaudibly as her gaze faces the floor.February 22nd, 2018, LINKAGES’ Police Training on the Protection of Key Populations.

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