Advantage Africa is working for the rights and development of the world’s poorest people, especially people living with HIV & AIDS. Our direct support services for people with HIV in Kibwezi district of Kenya are complemented by an ongoing education and advocacy project which teaches how the spread and treatment of HIV can be managed and challenges prejudice and discrimination against people with HIV & AIDS.
The central aim of the project, run by local partner Rescue Team for HIV & AIDS, is to use clear and accurate information to educate the community. The project makes sure that it includes groups of disadvantaged people who have often missed out on proper education and are therefore susceptible to believing common myths and superstitions about HIV.
Examples of common local beliefs that are NOT TRUE are:
- You can catch HIV by touching an infected person.
- Children who are HIV positive should not be allowed to attend school.
- If you use a condom then people will believe you are HIV positive.
- You can cure yourself from HIV by having sex with a virgin.
Rescue Team organize large education / advocacy events and frequently combine efforts with other local organisations and government bodies and schools. They also counsel individuals that come for HIV tests or are a part of the Home Based care project.
Over recent years Rescue Team have organised at least three major awareness raising events per year with a combined attendance of between one to two thousand people each year. A large hall and kitchen that has been constructed which is used in part for these events such as:
- World AIDS day
- International Youth Day
- International Candlelight Memorial Day
- Themed Football Tournaments
- The Day of the African child
- International Women Day
Mary Kaindi says:
I loved to participate in the Memorial Day because the only way to honour those who passed away is to do everything we can to improve the lives of people living with HIV
Advantage Africa works for long term change, and this project which gives people the facts about HIV & AIDS means they are equipped to make informed decisions about the choices they will face throughout their lives.