Covid-19 has impacted and complicated the situation for people living with HIV in Nepal.
Just before Nepal went into lockdown the AIDSLink team were able to give basic hygiene advice to clients, such as showing them how to properly wash their hands.
Although the team are now restricted in their movements, they have been able to deliver food to 22 families (64 people) in Kathmandu, but they cannot go outside the city. They have been helping people around the country as best they can with counselling over the phone.
When the lockdown started there were still a few people staying at the care centre, mainly hospital outpatients who were starting HIV treatment. They have since been able to get to their homes. One lady who was pregnant received help and gave birth to a healthy baby.
In Nepal, 18,555 people are taking antiretroviral treatment (HIV medicine). There are now 80 distribution centres. But many will not go to their local centre because of issues of confidentiality - the fear of stigma and shame are greater than the fear of death and disease.
Lockdown has made it hard for them to get to local centres anyway (which, although classed as local may be a distance away), so, many people already had a short supply. Then, medication became unavailable, probably due to the lockdown in India and the closed border.
However, we are delighted that in the last few days medication has become available again and is being delivered to those in rural areas. But, some people have already missed treatment or taken it irregularly, which can have consequences.
We expect the care centre to become very busy after the lockdown and this will stretch our capacity. We really appreciate those of you who stand with us financially, we need your ongoing partnership to ride this present storm and continue to help people into the future.