Care of the people living with HIV/AIDS
Promoting effective home based care for PLWA
Promoting access to the life prolonging active-anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy despite the crippling cost of the drugs. A treatment regime costs between $10,000 and $ 20,000 per year per person.
Promoting access to affordable and effective health care to combat opportunistic infections
Promoting adequate food of the required nutritional value to prolong Victims productive life for themselves and their dependants. PLWA have special needs for proper nutrition. Consequently, interventions in the food security sphere should also look into some of the following aspects related to nutrition;
Improvement in Quantity/Quality of diet for HIV/AIDS victims
Replenishment of body stores of micro-nutrients
To stabilize weight loss by proper feeding, minimize fat absorption and digestion problems
To manage AIDS related symptoms that affect food consumption and dietary intakes.
Private sector initiatives that partly support the HIV/AIDS for employees. Like in the case study above, groups are springing up in the region to do whatever they can to contain the spread and impacts of HIV/AIDS. Below is a case study from Uganda.
Case study: Living positively with Aids, the aids support organization (TASO), Uganda: Taso, was the first community organized response to the AIDS pandemic in Uganda by 4 PLWA members and one healthy member. It was founded in 1987 and now provides community services to over 50,000 PLWA and their families. Though members may not have much time to live, the atmosphere is always humorous and deceptive to outsiders. This case study is about the commitment and how it can be translated into practical action in the face of prejudice, discrimination and fear generated by HIV/AIDS.
TASO has managed to effectively counter the AIDS stigma by helping its members to live positively with AIDS by maintaining a positive attitude towards others and themselves. It gives counseling and advice on living without blaming others, feeling guilty or ashamed, following medical advice, eating nutritious foods, getting enough rest, not drinking, keeping fit, occupying oneself with non stressful chores, accepting both emotional and physical affection, socializing with friends, family and relatives, seeking counseling services using condoms and avoiding pregnancy.
TASO was founded by a group of people determined to do something about people living with HIV/AIDS. It was inspired by the treatment given to one of its members by Doctors in Britain despite the fact that the Doctors new that the member had HIV/AIDS.
Supporting the affected
Growing evidence of the best approach point to a community based care system supported with food security, health & environmental services and care. The support should be such that there is maximum community participation to reduce dependency and minimize stigmatization. The key concerns in such interventions include;
Setting up of community based care support services.
Setting up and running micro-financing schemes for income generating activities to support orphans and guardians.
Supporting interventions in food security.
Lobbying for the rights of the PLWA, the orphans and de-stigmatization of PLWA. Access to affordable health services would be another important issue for lobbying.
Promote improved access to education by AIDS orphans.
Supporting vocational training institutions to provide skills to the youth.
Setting up of children homes for special cases as a last resort,
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Other Articles of Interest:
What Would Jesus Do About Aids?
by Jonathan Frerichs, LWR Communication Director
Standing With Africa
by LWR President, Kathryn Wolford
Stand With Africa: A Campaign of Hope?
Written by Cathie DeGonia, Stand With Africa Campaign Communication Coordinator
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