HIV/AIDS Prevention Project

medical

Uganda is at the heart of the sub-Saharan HIV/AIDS pandemic. An estimated 25.4 million people are living with HIV and approximately 3.1 million new infections occurred in 2004. In 2004, an estimated 2.3 million people lost their lives to the disease. Uganda is home to more than 1 million AIDS orphans. Widowed mothers and elderly widowed grandmothers are the predominant heads of households.

HIV/AIDS results in a progressive depletion of the immune system leading to immune deficiency. The weakened immune system is vulnerable to secondary diseases. Access to medical care is nonexistent for many Ugandans where almost half the population lives in absolute poverty.

Most rural areas are severely lacking in services and HIV/AIDS awareness. Nearly every family in the rural villages has had someone who is sick or has died from AIDS. Hence education continues as a primary weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Awareness programs are provided at the community level, to schools and institutions, and at the personal level with individual counseling and home visits. Music and dramas by people living with HIV/AIDS and educational films are used.

This Program is divided under the following categories and volunteers are free to participate in all areas as they wish.

HIV /AIDS Education and Awareness


This project focuses on providing culturally sensitive methods of awareness raising and education with the goal of preventing transmission of the disease within the target populations. There is a great lack of HIV/AIDS awareness among the rural indigenous community and especially among the youth in primary and secondary schools. We sensitize people about HIV/AIDS prevention with primary focus on young people. By means of IEC (information, education and communication) we try to reach as many people as we can through seminars, workshops, drama/video shows, written material and various other means. Volunteers participating in this project will visit local communities to educate them about prevention, transmission and the reality of HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS Counseling Training (TOT)


We conduct training in HIV/AIDS counseling Training (TOT) in the endeavor to ensure efficient and effective service delivery as regards HIV/AIDS care and management. This is through equipping the participants with the comprehensive knowledge about the basic facts about HIV/AIDS, counseling skills, communication skills, positive living, disclosure, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, adherence among others. This training targets especially community health workers, nurses. HIV/AIDS care providers and the General Public.

Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT)


In close collaboration with partner organizations we carry out voluntary counseling and testing to enable people to know their HIV/AIDS status, with the aim of reducing the further spread of HIV/AIDS in the community HIV testing generally runs on Mondays and Fridays at two different health center units. Volunteers with some medicals skills or first Aid skills are free to participate in this program, but also those with the counseling skills.

HIV/AIDS Community Outreach Program


Volunteers together with the local staffs participate in this program by visiting those who are already suffering from HIV/AIDS. We expect you to come prepared with research on counseling tactics and resources.  We collaborate and work with trained local Counselors and other CBOs in Uganda who have developed and adapted HIV/AIDS educational materials to the local village population. With these tools you will visit local communities to help AIDS victims not only with their emotional well- being through counseling and companionship, but also with daily tasks. Volunteers should be willing to help wash dishes and clothing tidy up, etc. Volunteers are also encouraged to take with them on their outreaches some food stuffs to the affected families.  This is definitely one of the more difficult projects to participate in, due to the extremely emotional demands. You are up close and personal with the suffering that AIDS causes. There is a translator from our local staff who accompanies the volunteers on the outreach visits; however, there will be times when you will not know what to say. This is why it is helpful to prepare beforehand, for your counseling visits.

Therefore the volunteer’s duties will include the following:

  1. You will be working on a "train the trainers" project in which you will train members of the community to become peer educators in HIV/AIDS, nutrition and to be counselors. This is very important as it will enable the education and sensitization programmes to continue after you leave Uganda.
  1. The HIV/AIDS project also includes providing outreach to HIV/AIDS clients, which involves counseling, cooking, washing clothes, cleaning and delivering food supplies to those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.
  1. You will also have the opportunity to assist in researching and searching for documented information about HIV/AIDS from the internet, Uganda AIDS commission, Uganda AIDS control project, Ministry of Health and any other local and international organizations that carry out HIV/AIDS activities. You will compile this information and assist in printing HIV/AIDS awareness materials such as booklets, handouts and brochures which will be given to the public to prevent the spread and reduce the stigma of HIV/AIDS.
  1. The HIV/AIDS Programme focuses mainly on educating secondary schools, churches and other community groups about HIV transmission and prevention. The programme also includes the provision of free HIV blood testing and counseling to schools and other members of the community.

Eligibility

No specific qualifications or previous experience is required to join HIV /AIDS Prevention Project. However, volunteers with Psycho-social Profession or who counseling skills are highly preferred. Participants should bring both enthusiasm and humility to their projects. Volunteers are expected to be independent and creative, bring ideas to the table, be respectful to organization leadership and work collaboratively.

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International Volunteers Network
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