Infection rates in Kasempa are still at the highest in Zambia due to the movement of people across the borders with Congo and Angola as well as the mushrooming Mines in the Province. The other contributing factor is that of the district being a farming basket. Most of traders come from Copperbelt Province to buy maize and exchange with some other commodities. These trader do not only concentrate on their business but also engage in prostitution thereby contributing to high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the district. Young people are disproportionately affected, but below 25% use condoms with non-regular partners and less than one-quarter of those infected are accessing Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) While the government has committed to providing free ARVs for all, the lack of health infrastructure such as CD4 count machines means that many people are excluded from living positively. Clear messages on protective measures, the importance of getting tested, and the right to live positively need to be reinforced with this group.
Several reasons have been given as regard to the higher infection rate in Kasempa. One of which is that of Kasempa being a farming basket and that of mushrooming mines in the District, also trader coming from Congo and Angola have contributed. During this trade, there a number of sexual activities going own as these traders leave their spouses.
Poverty is one another factor that has contributed to the high rate of the pandemic in Kasempa District in particular. Therefore the young people are left with no choice but to look at means of how they can make their needs met. This has faced some youths to get involved in drugs, sex work and many other vices that make them vulnerable to the HIV pandemic.
MYDF therefore has identified this problem and realized its aim for the young people.
Coming up with suitable ways and modes on how it would reduce the pandemic rate is its endeavourer.
MYDF wish come up with programmes that will directly look at the need of the young people on HIV/AIDS. To reduce and to take action on HIV/AIDS issues among the young people. MYDF intends to:
Promote a youth friendly environment were issues of HIV and AIDS issues will be discussed.
Conduct public and official sitting on the HIV and AIDS pandemic
Empower the HIV and AIDS infected and affected youths with sustainable projects to enable them to run their daily activities.
It also wishes to conduct debates to challenge myths and stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS.
Experience in community work on HIV and AIDS
Since 2012, we have been involved in the following activities:
• Outreach through drama in schools and open forum meetings to communities and markets on various topics related to HIV and AIDS such as stigma and discrimination, drug and alcohol abuse and HIV prevention
• Drama, health talks and advocacy
Behaviour Change Programme (BCP)
A behavior change program (BCP) is a group-counseling program which is aimed at connecting the essential capacity of diverse groups so as to embrace and uphold healthy attitudes and behaviors.
This program has various objectives. Firstly, to empower individuals and communities with accurate basic information on reproductive health, HIV, AIDS, STDs and STIs. Secondly, to promote the identification and adoption of values, attitudes and behaviors that elevates a healthy state of mind, body and environment among individuals and communities. Thirdly, to prop up positive attitudes and behavior change towards life as the best strategy in overcoming the HIV pandemic, also to sustain health values, attitudes and behaviors among the target group. Lastly, to enhance free discussion on matters of sex, sexuality, STIs and STDs among individuals and communities. Sensitizations are held, the youths are taken through a behavior change process of looking at the consequences of the present attitudes and behaviors. This sensitization describes the start of the behavior change process of the targeted youths. As peer educators we also guides the youths into looking at alternative behaviors and helpful attitudes without overlooking the obstacles that the new behavior is going to bring.
The program targets the youths between the ages of 14-25 years.
In addition to all that has been outlined the program also gives skills that are going to help youths overcome the obstacles that they will meet. The BCP does not assume that everyone needs to change. It recognizes that in some cases, behavior maintenance is needed.
Factors increasing women’s vulnerability
One of the most common forms of sexual violence around the world is that which is perpetrated by an intimate partner, leading to the conclusion that one of the most important risk factors for women – in terms of their vulnerability to sexual assault – is being married or cohabiting with a partner. Other factors influencing the risk of sexual violence include:
— being young;
— consuming alcohol or drugs;
— having previously been raped or sexually abused;
— having many sexual partners;
— involvement in sex work;
— becoming more educated and economically empowered, at least where sexual violence perpetrated by an intimate partner is concerned;
Factor’s increasing men’s risk of committing rape
— Alcohol and drug consumption
— Psychological factors
— Early childhood environments
— Family honour and sexual purity
— Physical and social environment
— Social norms
The HI-Virus continues to put a pressure on humanity as a whole with measures of infection and re-infections prevention are stepped up. The issue of prevention has not been an easy road as highest infection rates are due to sexual intercourse which is something whose frequency is determined by the attitudes and ways of persons’ lives. Some prevention methods in the fight are:
1. Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT)
VCT comes as a prevention measure as it is an individual centered counseling process that at the end gives a person know on their status (weather positive or negative). It helps in making the person aware and equipping them with information on possible ways forward.
2. Behavior change
Behavior change, which is also our major topic can be called the root of the issue, emphasizes the need to equip persons with information then they make their decisions. Sometime back, the fear factor was used; telling people about the virus in a frightened way and showing gross pictures of HIV’s devastating results. This was not only stigmatic but also wore off. Behavior change intervention is an effective tool that is based on promoting “informed decisions”.
3. Avoiding transmission through blood and blood products
This speaks of avoiding sharing of skin piercing objects and/or sterilizing them before second use. It also includes testing of blood to be transfused and careful handling of accident victims.
4. Avoiding mother to child transmission
– Going for HIV-testing when considering having a child. This process is now compulsory for all pregnant women, in terms of protecting the children. It helps the health provider know how to handle the situation in either result.
– Avoiding an infection through unintended pregnancy (especially if client or spouse is known to be HIV positive).
– Using antiretroviral drugs in pregnancy to reduce the Childs’ risk of infection either during or after pregnancy.
5. The condom
The condom has been emphasized in HIV prevention and its effectiveness amplified. It is encouraged for those that cannot abstain. If the condom is in a good condition, if it is well handled and no “accident” happens the condom use is a safe possibility to prevent HIV. But in general one can say that the use of a condom is not 100% safe. The safest prevention lies in abstinence from sex and all risky behavior and being faithful with one partner.
The interventions increase with the coming of each year as challenges of prevention vary and multiply with the more information we get.
– Emphasis on human rights
– Address cultural norms and beliefs