AIDSLink Nepal, works both in the capital (Kathmandu), and in some of the more remote areas to help people living with HIV regain hope and dignity in a holistic manner by: improving access to medical treatment including antiretroviral therapy (ART), counselling individuals and families, empowering them through increased knowledge and understanding, and giving some sponsorship so that 'at risk' children can complete their schooling.
Even though HIV testing and treatment is available, accesssing it continues to be a huge challenge for those who live outside Kathmandu. Once tested positive, a person needs to travel to the city hospital to begin treatment for a supervised two week period. Those who manage to find the time and travel the distance often do not have sufficient finances for accommodation, and therefore end up sleeping in slum-like conditions, further compromising their already fragile health.
AIDSLink Nepal: *Runs Asha Deep (Hope & Light) Crisis Care Centre where HIV patients from outside Kathmandu can stay whilst outpatients at the hospital. *Has two staff members in rural areas to support those who can't get to Kathmandu. *Conducts home and hospital visits to offer personal care and support. *Sponsors children of HIV affected families to ensure they stay in school. *Conducts awareness and prevention workshops and meetings. *Distributes Nepali educational material.
Most of AIDSLink Nepal's staff are from the local community and some are living with HIV. Their personal stories help restore a client's hope, assuring them that HIV is not a death sentence and breaking a sense of isolation. People living with HIV and their families are encouraged to attend a monthly support group for teaching, encouragement and counselling. This is especially valuable for those who are experiencing stigma and rejection and are in need of practical encouragement.
Confronting Stigma in the Villages of Nepal