Bridget's Story: Building a Coordinated Response to Local Needs
Bridget knows all too well about the impact of the AIDS epidemic in Malawi. When she was a young child, her beloved aunt nearly died from an undiagnosed HIV infection. Luckily, after a prolonged illness, her aunt was tested for HIV and then provided treatment. Fueled by that lifesaving experience, Bridget has dedicated herself to ensuring others near her home in Malawi are tested for HIV, and if found positive, start treatment immediately.
Bridget works as a community resource person for One Community in Malawi. Watch the 360 video above (and move your cursor around the video) to experience a day in the life in rural Malawi. Riding her motorbike through the rural villages in Malawi, Bridget supports and trains community volunteers to bring HIV testing to people who need it, whether it’s at home, the work place, a busy market or even evening gathering spots. She also trains community volunteers to provide continuing support for people living with HIV. “This is very important to me personally,” she said.
"I am able to make sure that no one suffers the way my aunt did when testing services were not as accessible."
A History of Addressing Urgent Needs
Project HOPE’s HIV work began in 1989, through programs aimed at the prevention of HIV/AIDS. Our work has expanded to address not only the prevention and treatment of individuals with HIV/AIDS, but also to address the needs of orphans and vulnerable children who have lost one or both parents to the disease as well as those infected with HIV/AIDS. Last year, in Malawi alone, more than 87,000 orphans and vulnerable children and their caregivers benefited from One Community.
While great strides have been made in the fight against the HIV epidemic, there is still work to do. UNAIDS has declared an ambitious treatment target, 90-90-90, to help end the AIDS epidemic. The target states that by 2020, the following will be achieved:
HOPE for the Future
Project HOPE continues to play an active role in meeting these goals. Community-based HIV prevention, testing and treatment programs like the one in Malawi, or HOPE's other innovative programs in Nigeria, Namibia and Mozambique will prove essential.
In Ethiopia, Project HOPE, along with partners, began implementing a community based program in 2017 that is expanding access to comprehensive HIV prevention, care and treatment services.
The five-year program, Ethiopia Community HIV Care and Treatment, funded by PEPFAR through USAID, aims to contribute to the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goal of epidemic control in Ethiopia. The program will reach more than 200 priority districts with a variety of services including:
- Providing targeted HIV testing services to priority populations with integrated referral linkages for health and other socioeconomic services
- Strengthening community based HIV/AIDS case management with individualized action plans
- Improving adherence to treatment including tracking and reengaging those lost to follow up
- Building the capacity of local organizations and systems to provide high impact HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment services at the community level
- Increasing data availability with improved use for decision making by community health services
This program will target 75,267 individuals with HIV testing and reach 165,000 people living with HIV with care. Read more.