Access to HIV health care in Swaziland is primarily a function of proximity to facilities and ability to pay for transport to reach them. With the highest HIV infection rate in the world, Swaziland struggles just to provide basic care. This project pushes HIV health services down to the local community level and reduces the financial burden on an already impoverished population to access these services. Children and caregivers are the direct beneficiary to quality and compassionate HIV care.
Swaziland has the highest HIV infection rate in the world. Cost of transport to access available care is the primary hurdle for an impoverished and isolated rural population. Everyone in this situation is affected: although women and children suffer significantly more as they typically do not have the resources to receive even a modicum of the available services. Can you imagine testing positive for HIV with no ability to receive care? A literal death sentence for you and your children orphans.
This program brings HIV care directly to each community. While we provide the basic HIV testing and counseling services, we also provide in-community blood work and analysis, refills for the anti-retroviral drugs (ARV's) that treat the HIV infection, and prophylactic antibiotics for those that have not yet been started on the ARV's. And beyond that, we provide transport free of charge to the closest health facility for all HIV services we have not yet begun to provide.
Caregivers receiving comprehensive care for HIV can regain health and live a healthy productive life. They can regain health and ability to work to take care of their families. Their children will not be added to the staggering numbers of orphans already in Swaziland. Children receiving ARV's can go back to school healthy and able to participate and receive an education. HIV treatment as a method of prevention of additional transmission becomes a reality.