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New hope for people living with HIV/AIDS

AIDS Intervention Unit reduces stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV

The number of people with HIV/AIDS in Egypt remains low. However, all evidence points towards an escalating trend of the epidemic. All potential factors that can fuel the epidemic are present, especially among Most At Risk Persons (MARPs). The dominant stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV aggravates the situation and jeopardizes their (human) rights. Therefore our Aids Intervention Unit aims to reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

“Living with dignity is my right”

Stigma and discrimination are serious obstacles standing in the way of effective HIV/AIDS intervention programs. Fear of discrimination often keeps people from seeking treatment and care, or from disclosing their HIV status.

Reducing stigma and discrimination not only improves the lives of people living with HIV (PLHIV), it also optimizes investments in HIV prevention, care, treatment and support. Most efforts to address stigma are still small scale or in a pilot phase. Therefore, sustained advocacy is needed to scale up stigma reduction efforts directed at families, communities, institutions and governments.

Aids Intervention Unit

The Caritas Aids Intervention Unit (AIU) aims to:

  1. Prevent HIV/AIDS infections
  2. Care and support for infected and affected people
  3. Advocate for PLHIV rights
  4. Mobilize networks and resources

Approach

AIU reaches its goals through:

  • Partnerships with various governmental and non-governmental sectors and agencies
  • Community participation programmes for and by beneficiaries
  • Advocacy among key persons and policymakers
  • Outreach to those in need and most at risk

Activities

  • Drop-in center
  • Voluntary counseling and testing center (VCT) provides free, anonymous counseling and testing for HIV, Virus B, and Virus C
  • Home-based care for PLHIV
  • Support group for PLHIV
  • Workshops on self-care and living positive for PLHIV
  • Outreach teams for harm reduction among IDUs
  • Capacity building for NGOs
  • Advocacy for PLHIV rights, as part of human rights and fighting stigma and discrimination
  • Telephone helpline services

Facts and figures

Beneficiaries

  • HIV infected and affected people
  • Key population and MARPs of various age groups and gender

Where: All over Egypt

Period: Established in 1996 and ongoing

Budget: According to each project in the sector

Sponsors & partners: IDLO, UNODC, MISEREOR, NAP, and UNAIDS

Results

  • Reaches up to 15,000 persons per year with prevention and awareness messages
  • Contributed to capacity building of 10 NGOs on HIV prevention, care and support issues
  • Increased PLHIV compliance rate to ARV regimen from 32% to 76% among encountered PLHIV
  • Our unit has positioned itself as one of the main actors and National Aids Programme (NAP) partners in HIV prevention, care and support, as well as in combating stigma and discrimination against PLHIV
  • Was elected to hold the secretariat of Egyptian NGOs Network Against Aids (ENNAA) in its current round (2017)
  • Is board member in RANNAA (through ENNAA)

Contact

Evete Adel
AIDS Intervention Unit Manager
E: adel@caritasalex.org
M: 01224785406
Helpline: 034844169