HIV and AIDS Programs
World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 each year around the world. It has become one of the most recognized international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.
This year, UNAIDS reported more than a 50% drop in new HIV infections across 25 countries. There have been fewer new HIV infections in children, fewer AIDS-related deaths and more international investments in research and care.
The Medical Teams International HIV and AIDS program helps prevent new HIV infections, protect the dignity and reduce the suffering of those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.
We are improving the provision and access of care and treatment services as well as enable communities to care for and support those impacted by AIDS.
Medical Teams International supports and strengthens in-country partners and staff to implement programs in Africa, East Asia and Latin America.
"The services provided by Medical Teams International will help this community fight the
spread of HIV and give it hope for the future."
- Dr. Elizabeth Madraa, STD/AIDS Control Program Manager, MOH, Uganda
Zinha -Gaining Ground from Girlhood to Adolescence
Empowering community based organizations to successfully prevent new HIV infections and empowering individuals to do the same, follow a similar pattern. Both involve an intentional combination of building capacity and confidence, providing resources, active listening, understanding needs, mentoring and support.
Zinha is an example of the project’s transformational impact on individual beneficiaries. As an 8 year old in 2007, Zinha brought her new born brother to Kuwangisana’s feeding program several times a day to receive infant formula. Her mother Antoinia, was so weak and wasted from AIDS that she could not produce any milk for him.
During the next few months, Zinha watched both her 23-year old mother and her little brother succumb to the disease. Her personal loss however coincided with the beginning of the NPI project; where, as a double orphan Zinha met the qualifications and was enrolled into the OVC care and support program.
Zinha was a project beneficiary between the ages of 10 and 13, her “wonder years”, and a time when a girl in this region is at her most vulnerable for early marriage, sexual exploitation and leaving school.
Between 2009 and 2012, she received two nutritious meals each week day, benefitted from remedial education, was assisted in enrolling into public school, and received vocational training, life skills education, psychosocial, spiritual support, and health care. Zinha thrived in a secure environment where she was surrounded by caring adults and new opportunities; where she received compassionate, care and was engaged in a program that challenged her and gave her hope for the future.
When Kuwangisana started a traditional music and dance troupe, Zinha joined. The group practiced daily and was invited to perform at special events including World AIDS Day, Worker’s Day, May Day, Mozambique’s Independence Day and for visits by dignitaries, including the district Governor and Mozambique’s President.
In addition to attending public school, Zinha learned about personal hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, and agricultural techniques through the project’s life skills and mentoring program. She taught these things to her grandmother and her whole family benefited.
Through the project’s HIV prevention education programs’ age sensitive gender and sexuality training, Zinha learned about her changing body and how to be proactive in protecting her reproductive health; she learned about her reproductive rights, her civil and legal rights and her value as a young woman; she considered the relevance and importance of family planning to a woman’s health and that of her children and the health risks associated with a girl becoming pregnant and a mother while she is still growing and developing herself.
She also learned about the risks of HIV and other STI’s, the importance of making good decisions, how to handle pressures from her peers, how to avoid unwanted sexual advances, and the importance of staying in school and completing her education. These sessions also helped her develop confidence, self-respect and dignity.
Because of Kuwangisana, Zinha’s life began to take a different path. By age 13, Zinha’s mother was married and soon after became pregnant (with Zinha). At 23, her mother succumbed to AIDS, and Zinha (8) was left in the care of her illiterate grandmother and her great grandmother.
However, Zinha had other female role models who helped shape her view of herself and how her life could be very different than that of the other women in her family.
Kuwangisana’s executive director and more than 50% of its management team were capable, professional women. These women made a profound impression on Zinha as she watched them perform their jobs with confidence and guide the project to success.
Rather than accept the limitations of her situation, Zinha began to make plans for her future, and they did not include early marriage and early pregnancy.
“I want to study up to grade 12 and then enroll in teachers collage to become a teacher and help other children.” says Zinha, now in Grade 4.
Her grandmother supports Zinha’s goals for her future.
“I want Zinha to stay in school,” she says, “Zinha is a good student,” her grandmother adds with a proud smile.
Health Service Delivery improves quality and access to diagnose, treat and prevent HIV and AIDS through direct services, training and health monitoring systems.
Prevention Education behavior-based prevention focuses on at-risk youth, through life skills training, peer education, church and community mobilization and curriculum development.
Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) provides patient education, delivery protocols, testing, access and uptake of medication and training for health practitioners.
Care and Support of PLWHA (People Living with HIV and AIDS) facilitates care and support of men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS by providing comprehensive home-based care, medical referral, counseling, spiritual encouragement, palliative careand social support.
Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) care and support programs promote compassionate and comprehensive care using community-based approaches and engaging local leadership and churches to ensure sustainability.
Advocacy and Awareness Education focuses on our US constituency and challenges people to be change agents in their local community and to influence policy.
Our program strategies
Comprehensive Approach Our core competencies support both community and clinic-based programs providing comprehensive services and program responses.
Partnerships We partner with local and international health and development agencies, community and faith-based organizations and collaborate with other stakeholders in civil society and government to achieve greater efficiency and deeper impact.
Community Mobilization and Empowerment We engage and empower local stakeholders from the needs assessment to the final evaluation to ensure a sustainable and appropriate response.
Healthcare Provider Education and Training We incorporate capacity and skill building into all of our AIDS programs to train, retain and support the local health workforce and to strengthen program implementation.
Volunteers We strategically use skilled health professionals who serve on training teams to improve health care service delivery and strengthen prevention, care and treatment efforts. Our programs also support and strengthen local volunteers engaged in community outreach and services.
We are committed to
✓ Excellence and quality
✓ Christian focus and church partnerships
✓ Respect for the local culture
✓ Sustainability and local ownership
✓ Eliminate stigma and discrimination
✓ Protect the legal rights of people living with HIV
✓ Promote gender equity
✓ Follow host country priorities and guidelines
HIV and AIDS program countries
Read more about our HIV and AIDS projects by clicking on the desired country, below.