The HIV outbreak, which originated from the use of contaminated needles by a private health clinician, has had a devastating effect on the community. 278 persons were infected with HIV, including 147 females. Thanks to a local health centre that is providing antiretrovial drug to 223 HIV-infected people, including132 women, the situation in Roka remains quite stable since the beginning of the HIV outbreak.
One of the important gender-related concerns is that there are over 90 serodiscant couples (where one sexual partner is living with HIV while the other is not) in the community.
In early 2017, the Roka health centre became a referral hospital which includes specialist services for children living with HIV/AIDS. Since the HIV outbreak in Roka, there has been no special budget allocation from the government to support outbreak management activities in the community.
Your donation will help us support the women affected by the HIV outbreak in Roka through:
- Providing counselling and emotional support through regular home visits and village meetings
- Integrating livelihood skills development and savings plans for women living with HIV
- Strengthening women's agency to say "No" to violence against women through an increased understanding of gender, women's human rights and gender-based violence.
- Supporting established youth clubs to helps students understand and challenge gender norms, and encourage intergenerational communication about reproductive health
- Training a core group of women to advocate for gender-responsive planning and budgeting, and inclusion of needs of people living with HIV into commune development and investment plans
- Encouraging local implementation of a comprehensive toolkit of how to respond to HIV outbreaks
- Supporting efforts to advocate at a national level for gender-responsive budget allocations to respond to the HIV outbreak
UN Women's objective is to reach up to 300 people living with HIV (at least 50% women and girls) and approximately 1,500 members of their households, 200 youth (140 girls) to benefit from involvement with your clubs and 50 members of local authorities at a commune, district and provincial level.