We are putting HIV care at the reach of our patients' hands. By this we mean that we have made HIV care accessible to patients living far from "specialized care" in Mali. Our HIV clinic is based at a village infirmary and serves a growing group of extremely poor patients living in a small village on the outskirts of Bamako. GAIA Vaccine Foundation provides care and education about HIV transmission and living with HIV, reducing stigma and improving HIV prevention in the village.
We purchase food that is cooked by our patients who share the meal with their peer group, HIV- children and doctors. Sharing a meal with the staff reduces stigma. Improving the nutritional status of our patients is an essential aspect of HIV care.
Many of our patients are widows and lost their husbands to AIDS-related complications. Our patients typically have between 3 to 9 children, so sharing meals relieves some of their weekly burdens. As Koumba says, "I don't have means but with the little bit of resources that I find I feed my children. My five children don't have the disease so I do everything I can so that they stay healthy."