Lulu Henry Jeku, Samali Tibendwa Lubandi
MDI – Kenya Class of April 2009
History of the Agency
AIDS Information Centre Arua is one of the 8 regional branches that form AIDS Information Centre - Uganda (AIC), a national non-government organization which was established 21 years ago to provide voluntary HIV counseling and testing services to the general population in Uganda. AIDS Information Centre Arua Branch was established in 2002 to scale up HIV & AIDS prevention, care and support services in the North Western region, in the districts of Arua, Nebbi, Adjumani, Moyo, Yumbe, Koboko, Maracha and Zombo. The Branch is located in Arua district, Arua Municipality, River Oli Division, Pangisa Ward, Plot 34 Iddi Amin Road.
The Vision of AIC is Universal knowledge of HIV status in Uganda and the Mission is to provide quality HIV/AIDS information, counseling and testing services. The Goal is to improve the quality of life of communities vulnerable to HIV and AIDS in Uganda through access to correct and consistent information on HIV and AIDS, counseling and testing, prevention, care and support services. The core values of AIC are high integrity, commitment to excellence, effective communication and feedback, equity and mutual respect, team spirit and timeliness.
Statement of the Problem
Discordant couples (one HIV+ and one HIV – partner) are the source of a large and growing number of new infections in Sub Saharan Africa. Indeed, it has been estimated that married persons account for an estimated 65% of new infections. About 90% of married men and women do not know the HIV status of any of their partners, but assume, falsely in many cases, that if they are HIV+ - then there partners are also.
Couple Counseling and Testing Communication Campaign to empower married and cohabiting couples to assess their risk to HIV, test together and adopt practices that reduce HIV risk and improve their health.
Goal: Contribute to the reduction in new HIV infections in Uganda
- Empower couples to initiate and sustain communication around HIV/AIDS
- Encourage couples to seek HCT together
- Encourage HIV status disclosure among sexual partners
- Encourage couples to adopt and maintain positive health practices, including risk reduction strategies and health seeking behaviors
- Link HIV positive couple members to treatment, care and support
The CHIP has counseled and tested a total of 255,412 clients from 2007 to March 2012. 111,817 (43.8%) of those counseled and tested were male and 143,595 (56.2%) were female. 8061 (2892 Males and 5169 Females) clients out of the total tested HIV positive, with a prevalence of 3.2%. Females had prevalence of 3.6% while the prevalence amongst Males was 2.6%. All the HIV positive clients were effectively linked to care. Since the MDI, the numbers in the program have expanded by 66%.
The CHIP has counseled and tested a total of 10,605 (4.2%) couples from 2007 to March 2012. 10023 (94.5) of the total couples served were concordant negative, 168 (1.6%) concordant positive and 414 (3.9%) couples were discordant. All HIV positive concordant couples were effectively linked to care and Philly Lutaaya Initiatives for ongoing psychosocial support , HIV concordant negative discordant couples were offered risk reduction counseling, education and empowered to adopt risk reduction strategies and health seeking behaviors and effectively referred to post test clubs and discordant couple clubs hence contributing to a reduction of new HIV infections in Uganda.