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December 1, 2011

By Simon Chambers

PWRDF works through partnerships in Burundi, Hong Kong, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa.  Programs address HIV and AIDS education, treatment and care.

In South Africa, PWRDF works with the John Wesley Community Centre, the Keiskamma Trust and the Temba House Community Development.  All organizations provide a range of services targeting HIV orphans, pregnant women to prevent transmission of the virus from mother to child, pediatric AIDS, hospice services and home care to bedridden patients.

In Burundi, PWRDF works with the Diocese of Bujumbura, Diocese of Gitega, the Burundian Council of Churches and the Mothers’ Union.  The programs focus on education, testing and care of people living with AIDS.

In Hong Kong, PWRDF works with St. John’s Cathedral.  St. John’s Cathedral established a HIV Education Centre in 1995.  The Centre offers free sex and reproductive health education to Asian migrant women and youth.

In Tanzania, PWRDF works with the Diocese of Masasi and provides community HIV and AIDS education, testing, and care of patients living with AIDS and HIV orphans.  In 2010 more than 12,000 people were tested through the HIV Mobile Clinic that provided services to more than 10 villages.

In Mozambique, PWRDF works with SALAMA, a secular organization.  SALAMA works in more than 35 villages in the Province of Nampula.  One of the highlights of the program is to provide HIV and AIDS education on the train that runs from Nacala Port, a city on the Indian Ocean close to the border of Malawi.  The program has been very effective and more than 70,000 condoms were distributed in 2010.  Government statistics have shown that in the areas where SALAMA operates a 5% decrease in the infection rates has been seen.  SALAMA also works with hospitals to ensure that AIDS patients adhere to their ARV treatments.

PWRDF is also engaged with several Canadian Churches in an innovative education program targeting African partner organizations to incorporate gender and human rights in HIV and AIDS education.

While PWRDF is very happy with the progress made, a lot more needs to be done.  PWRDF is also dismayed by the recent drop in funding for AIDS, and the prospect that the Global Fund for HIV and AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculoses will not be able to meet its funding targets for the upcoming funding cycle.  Recent statistics show the effectiveness of prevention and treatment approaches.  PWRDF calls to all the players to recommit to continue active engagement in the HIV response.

EDIT: On December 6, Stephen Lewis addressed the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA).  His speech can be read here, and is impassioned, heart-felt, and well worth reading!

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