AIDS Intervention: What is Being Done!
Why are developing nations suffering more than others?
Desperate economic situations and lack of employment force many young girls and women to leave their villages for lives of prostitution in the cities, consequently spreading the infection.
Migrant-labor systems serve to exacerbate the problem with men holding jobs that keep them away from home most of the year, during which they will frequent prostitutes or have girlfriends with high rates of HIV infection & then carry it home.
Ignorance and superstition complicate the problem.
With the increase in HIV and AIDS-related deaths, an escalating number of children are being orphaned. These orphans are then raised by brothers and sisters not much older than themselves. Without adult supervision, they eventually drop out of school, become malnourished, and take to the streets.
Children as young as 7 take care of their orphan siblings. Imagine a 7-year-old living on the streets, also caring for a 3 and 4-year-old.
AIDS continues to claim a devastating toll in sub-Sahara Africa, with some countries having an HIV infection rate close to 40%.
For almost 20 years now most responses to this epidemic have been to treat it as a medical issue, sometimes as a social-behavior issue or a political issue. Few efforts have focused on the spiritual aspect – building an environment without stigma that begins by caring for the spirit of the infected.
The world cannot build enough hospitals to care for all its AIDS patients, nor wait for a solution to emerge in due course! We believe that care for the infected can only come from their families and communities. Around the world wonderful grassroots organizations, mostly operating on shoestring budgets, are changing the stigma attached to those living with AIDS, helping them to be accepted, loved and cared for in their communities. In the process, they are building models of community and family care that have a chance at beating this disease.
Matumaini - Durban, South Africa
Although bedridden and worried about the future of her three children (ages 11, 8 and 2, currently living with their grandmother), AIDS patient 'Rose' (not her real name) is amazingly optimistic, and gives much credit to the hope and spiritual encouragement offered by the staff of FCF project Matumaini, which means ‘Hope.’
Like so many women afflicted with this debilitating disease, Rose contracted the deadly virus from her husband, who had many other sexual partners. This is an accepted practice in the Zulu tribe of South Africa and results in Kwa-Zulu Natal having the highest HIV-positive rate in the world.
Akado Women's Group (AWG) - Mbita, Kenya
Akado Women's Group, a women’s empowerment program with a focus on economic development, serves as a model for comprehensive community-based response to the AIDS epidemic in Kenya.
AWG programs target all members of the community, young and old, including visitors. The hallmark of AWG is its interrelated programs developed through input from local residents.
These programs include: Counseling and awareness-building, prevention, medical testing of women and children, prenatal care and counseling, HIV testing including pre and post-test counseling, community-based care for those suffering from full-blown AIDS, women’s cooperative programs to pool stitching and agricultural skills and teaching finance and small business management skills to widows.
Kwasha Mukwenu Women's Group - Lusaka, Zambia
Kwasha Mukwenu Women’s group was formed by a group of 22 women from different churches and denominations that felt moved by the plight of orphans in their neighborhoods, especially those orphaned due to HIV/AIDS.
Each of the volunteers has been assigned to zones in the Matero Township that she is familiar with to help provide parental care for orphans in lieu of sending them to orphanages.