India has had a sharp increase in the estimated number of HIV infections, from a few thousand in the early 1990s to around 5.1 million children and adults living with HIV/AIDS in 2003. With a population of over one billion, the HIV epidemic in India will have a major impact on the overall spread of HIV in Asia and the Pacific and indeed worldwide.
Targeted Intervention Project
A Targeted Intervention (TI) project is currently underway at four sites - Bachhrawan, Mahrajganj, Rae Bareli and Lalganj - in Rae Bareli district. GVS is covering FSWs (female sex workers) and MSMs (men having sex with men).
The goal of TI project is to reduce incidences of HIV/AIDS amongst population with high risk behavior so as to reduce morbidity, mortality and impact of epidemic in project area. The objective is to scale up and saturate coverage of core groups. The mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS in government health departments is another objective.
Major activities include:
- Community mobilisation and outreach
- Behviour Change Communication
- Creation of enabling environment/community mobilisation
- Provision of STI services
- Condom promotion
Efforts are underway to support and facilitate changes in the community so that the community members are empowered to articulate their issues and develop their own solution or advocate for the needed solutions. Maximum outreach is being done for the coverage of high risk groups.
Healthy Companion Campaign
Concerned over these facts, GVS launched an awareness campaign for HIV/AIDS in 75 villages under the healthy companion campaign supported by BBC World Service Trust, an organ of British Broadcasting Corporation. The campaign was taken up between September 2002 and May 2003. While creating awareness about HIV/AIDS, the campaign also imparted information regarding reproductive system and prevalence of venereal diseases to the villagers.
The campaign involved:
- Video film show for men during evenings through a video van
- Video film show for women during days through the video van
- Group discussion after video film show
- Game show
- Cartoon film show for children
- Holding of healthy companion camps, each covering 10 to 15 villages
For carrying out the campaign 150 community volunteers were imparted training in two phases. These volunteers then played significant role in carrying out the campaign. Nearly 30,000 women, men and children participated in the campaign.