KIDS WITH HIV IN LOCKDOWN TWO - AND A THREE YEAR REVIEW
By John Dalton - Arogya Agam's Founder
"Our programme addresses concerns of young people"
Again there is a total lockdown and this time even food shops are closed. There is no public transport and other vehicles are severely restricted. We are back to arguing at police check-posts to get life giving tablets to kids with HIV.
EXTERNALLY MONITORED PROJECT REVIEW
The three year project was reviewed by a team consisting of an external expert, staff, Women’s Positive Network leaders and volunteers. The team met HIV Positive children and adolescents, guardians, young women and men, volunteers, government counsellors, and Network leaders.
The team concluded that the programme is unique – no one else is doing this sort of work which should be continued in order to benefit children, adolescents and young adults with HIV. There has been good progress apart from Network strengthening and state level advocacy. Major findings:
Three Networks have improved, one stayed the same and two are lagging. Two Networks are not properly registered and so unable to access Government funding. There is some local advocacy but few ‘rights’ cases are recorded.
Staff paid by the project had adequate knowledge and motivation and work efficiently. When the Network had volunteers whose expenses were reimbursed (by another project) the indicators were much better. Funds allocated for volunteers in Networks without other funding sources will be well spent.
There was good coverage for children in terms of adherence (stopped treatment, irregular tablet taking, attending clinics by ‘proxy’ testing schedule). Age appropriate disclosure of HIV status by guardians improved but some work may be needed for younger children and those cared for by HIV negative guardians.
Beneficiaries knew about regular treatment, diet and tests. Most children and guardians felt that discrimination has reduced so disclosure to relatives and neighbours may increase their support.
Identification of older adolescents and young adults was on target but counselling was only 80% achieved due to Covid 19. Many still have doubts and anxiety regarding their future and married life.
Young people of marriageable age usually stated that they prefer to marry an HIV positive spouse, but on probing it seemed that many told what they perceived we wanted to hear. There are cases of late disclosure to spouse and poor perception of safer sex. Appropriate marriage guidance needs to be increased and should emphasise that with proper treatment ‘you can marry who you want’.
In counselling there was no big gap between inputs of Arogya Agam, Network staff, volunteers and government counsellors. 246 counsellors were interacted with, they are slowly taking up marriage and proxy counselling, but some counsellors still press for unwanted/inappropriate marriage. More work needs to be done and boys should not be left out since they are more resistant to counselling and ask fewer questions.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
Discontinue support in two Districts where the women’s network has agreed that they can carry on the work independently. Take up three new Districts. Pay volunteer expenses if there is no other source.
Adherence and disclosure – All children in old and new districts and young adults already in the programme to be followed up. Identify those with adherence and other problems. Promotion of discussion on HIV status – guardian to child.
Social disclosure of HIV status, marriage guidance – Promote disclosure on disease to relations and neighbours and to partners and potential partners. Counsel on marriage and safer sex.
Services mobilisation – Services include those provided by medical centres (including counselling and prompt change of regimen), government welfare services and prevention of school drop out.
Networks and advocacy – Ensure networks are running on legal basis and are eligible to take up Positive association schemes and obtain government welfare benefits. Strengthen advocacy capacity.
Studies – marriage pattern, status of second line treatment in children/young adults.
Make a yearly budget based on last 12 month’s donations.
Thank you so much for your support, please stay safe and well.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
Get Reports via Email
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Give the gift of stability in a time of instability. Set up an automatic, monthly gift now and get matched at 100%—because the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt us all, and it will take all of us to overcome it. Terms and conditions apply.
Monthly giving is as easy, safe, and as inexpensive as a Netflix subscription. Start a monthly donation to Arogya Agam today and get matched at 100%. Terms and conditions apply.