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Though this blog primarily tracks the life and travels of Andrew and Whitney Dubinsky, we do at heart greatly support the continued education of our friends, family and readers.  Since I work for USAID, I hope to from time to time write up about AID programs and projects either in the region or that are revolutionary.  For those of you who don't know December 1st is World AIDS Day.  World AIDS day and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.
There are events happening throughout the world on increasing the awareness of the epidemic and I encourage everyone to take a look here to locate an event near you.  Though this OF COURSE is not only an issue in the developing world, but I thought I would take the opportunity to spotlight the good work being done out of the USAID/RDMA mission.

"The goals of USAID’s HIV/AIDS program are to reduce the incidence and prevalence of HIV/AIDS and to mitigate its impact on people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and their families. This entails reducing HIV transmission among most-at-risk populations (MARPs) including IDUs, MSM, and FSWs and their clients. Military, police, and prison guard personnel, as clients of commercial sex workers, are targeted as well as prisoners themselves. Targeting of MARPs is done in the context of “hotspots” that are often also migration transit points in the region. People living with HIV/AIDS are another important program constituency, both as beneficiaries of care and support services and as targets of prevention efforts. To achieve these goals the program focuses on four major components.

  • The first component is to make strategic information more available and useful through improved data collection and analysis. Activities include: expansion of 2nd generation surveillance data collection and analysis at country and regional levels; annual regional analyses of surveillance data; data-for-decision-making seminars for policy-makers and program managers; design and implementation of a plan to collect and analyze indicators; MARP size estimations; establishment of a regional database for M&E data; and workshops to share lessons learned. 
  •  The second component is increasing access to comprehensive prevention interventions for MARPs and PLWHA. Activities include: peer and outreach behavior change communications; HIV counseling and testing; use of media for targeted messages; targeted condom promotion; STI diagnosis and treatment services; drop-in and wellness centers; and substitution therapy, as well as other HIV prevention for IDU. 
  • The third component is to increase access to care, support and treatment for PLWHA and their families. Activities include: clinical management of HIV; HIV/TB linkages; community- and home-based care; development of PLWHA advocacy groups at the community, sub-national, and national levels and a regional advocacy network of these groups; anti-retroviral therapy (ART) consumer education and treatment literacy; interventions for orphans and vulnerable children; and region-wide sharing of models for scale-up. 
  • The fourth component is to strengthen an “enabling environment” that encourages participation of civil society and promotes supportive policies and regulations.  Activities include: building capacity of PLWHA and other civil society; supporting host government-civil society partnerships to build trust and understanding; surveying stigma and discrimination to identify best points of entry for their reduction; and training for government officials on the use of resource allocation tools."

There is also another Blog write up on USAID Tanzania's Programs here

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