Name: Knowledge John
Organisation: Living On!
Preface People with HIV/AIDS can live positively by gaining morale rather than giving up. They can choose to eat good nutritious food and not to smoke or drink alcohol. They can get immediate medical care for every infection. Through positive living, people with HIV/AIDS can make the most of their remaining time and even extend it. As a continent, we can now defend against the epidemic which has reversed the gains that have been made in social and economic development. *This can only happen if these people are informed. 1.0 Introduction Stigma and discrimination remains the greatest barrier to the dissemination of information and provision of support to people with HIV/AIDS. Fear of AIDS stigma and related discrimination first of all lead to extraordinary levels of secrecy and non disclosure on the part of HIV positive individuals rendering the epidemic faceless and socially invisible. This compromises the ability and inclination of HIV positive persons to access care support and treatment within their Homes, Hospitals and community. 2.0 Background to the HIV and AIDS epidemic A person can be stigmatized- meaning a mark of disgrace, a blemish on one’s character or name calling, because of an illness for such as HIV/AIDS, TB, leprosy etc; disability; orphans, widows and women who can not bear children and those who have committed offensive crimes. Factors which contribute to HIV/AIDS related stigma are that HIV/AIDS is perceived as a life threatening illness (people are scared of contracting HIV/AIDS), as a punishment from God, as a crime (for example innocent or guilty), as a war (a virus which must be fought), as a horror (where infected people are feared) and as a disease for them not us. People living with HIV/AIDS are stigmatized at country level or community level (where people are asked to talk about their HIV status), in the home (where some families reject and send away children or relatives who become infected with HIV, they are said to bring shame in the family), at the workplace (where some employers refuse employees employment), promotion or they demand that people be tested for HIV before they employ them) and at the Health Care Centres (where many reports have shown that people living with HIV are ill treated at Health centers. There are denied medicines and hospital facilities). Governments and AIDS Service Organization have done a lot in the war against discrimination, including forming and funding self help groups which has proved to be a successful strategy in addressing stigma. But still, more than half of people with HIV/AIDS fear that their status may become known if they are involved in a group. a lot of AIDS illness and deaths are however unnecessarily early, because of lack of information and support that could be obtained through the self help and support groups. Research shows that the decision to join a group is the most difficult part of the process. This is when of stigma is at its highest peak. But once joined, its done, its such a liberation. One African lady once confessed “I know it sounds silly, but I’m actually healthier now than ever was, because a group taught me to look after myself better, I value life more now that I know I have HIV” Another member of the HIV self help group ACT Harare suggests,” For me joining a self group was such liberation. For the first time I could talk openly about HIV. With a group of people who knew exactly what I was talking about. I didn’t have to hide anything or feel like in other situations,” if these people only knew the truth about me, would they want to be near me?” the group didn’t change anything for me, it just provided me with a much needed escape from the secrecy and front you have to keep up. Whichever method may be used to convince people with HIV/AIDS to join self help groups, access care, support and treatment within their homes, in hospitals and in their community…….we can be sure of an AIDS free generation. 3.0 Project summary “Living on” emerges as a private information centre reaching people living with HIV/AIDS through Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). Its major actives include Audio and video programs an AIDS Correspondence school with free post, telephone hotlines, and email and SMS operations. 3.1 Audio and video Living on is currently working on a radio program intended at airing positive messages. Nutrition guides, and care-giving related material to people with HIV/AIDS their families and caregivers. We hope that through this program, we will get to the people with HIV/AIDS in their homes, at their comfort and as private. The positive message are obtained fro general public via e-mail and SMS and then selected by staff from a Support Centre for weekly broadcast. All aired messages are awarded and thus the campaign attracts the technologically motivated young and middle aged woman and men on this day, who also are the most affected group. For a message to get vote, it has to be inspiring and very rich. This puts participants to task, thus a lot of effort in research yielding knowledge on living positively with HIV/AIDS. The other contents of the program, mentioned above, are covered in a read section of the 20 minute program. Material own this section is obtained from different AIDS Service Organizations. A competition section closes program with three questions referring to read and directed to the audience. More audio and video projects shall be produced for broadcast and distribution as cassettes, CDs and DVDs. The projects shall be in form of talk shows, drama, short films, music and adverts. 3.2 AIDS Correspondence School This is Living On`s major operation reaching out to all corners of the country, as remote as post can go, thus catering for the ostracized rural community. The school provides free counseling and health education courses to anyone willing to take them, certifying and awarding successful students. Living On is currently gathering course material with some AIDS Service Organizations and hopes to engage the Ministry of Health and more ASOs in supporting the school and making the courses worth and vital in social and economic sectors of the nation. The school shall also engage with respective bodies on courses for PWAs school officials, business, cultural and leaders .The school’s services are free and as private as private as the correspondent requires. 3.3 Telephone hotlines This is an online counseling available twenty four hours a day seven days a week at toll free phones. Chatting with people living positively with AIDS is also featured in this chatting operation. Living is currently on negotiations with mobile network providers for mobile toll free services so as to houses everyone who has access to phone. 3.4 E-mail and SMS This is a communication channel to allow contributions, and enquires from public and also facilitates any of the living activities accessible through this channel as may be required by client 4.0 Target groups People with HIV/AIDS, their care-givers, families and friends. 5.0 Objectives Living On is seeking to: • Collect relevant information on positive living and disseminate it in a strategic manner that can be easily accessed and understood by people living with HIV/AIDS. • Instill self-confidence sense of responsibility and sense of identity within people with HIV/AIDS and help to create common site, vision and inspiration. 6.0 Outcome/ Output Indicators • Proportion of subscriptions in the Correspondence School. • Proportion of SMS and E-mail messages received in the Positive Messages Campaign section of the Living On radio & T.V programs. • Proportion of letters coming in response for the competition section of the radio programs. • Proportion of people writing or calling in request of Counseling Nutrition guides and chatting. • Proportion of people dying early of HIV/AIDS. • Level of knowledge on living positively with HIV/AIDS within the community. 7.0 Message Concept Your attention and participation towards positive living programs enhances chances of having long health productive lives. 8.0 Channels of Communication • Print and electronic media. 9.0 Activities • Audio and video productions for broadcasting and distribution. • Distribution of relevant material via post mail. • Counseling and health education via post mail(correspondence). • On-line counseling and chatting. • SMS and e-mail. 10. Communication material • Course packages • Radio and T.V specific programs • Promotional material • Pamphlets • Fliers • Posters • Cassettes CDs and DVDs • Internet • Telephone and cell phone 11 Inputs • Rent and rates • Furniture and equipment • Stationery • Material development/production cost • Time • Human resources 12. Finance • The organization seeks in form of cash and kind to kick-start operations Living On and also intends to run some projects to allow continuity.