Reducing HIV Stigma, Zambia
In Zambia, nurses are partnering with other organisations to ensure women’s rights when it comes to the management and treatment of people with HIV/AIDS. An AIDS Integrated Program has been established by the Catholic Diocese of Ndola, Zambia. Within this programme, there is collaboration between nursing and medical care, socioeconomic support, human rights and legal support and psychological care. There are close partnerships with government and non-government organisations to provide care to the community. Within the nursing clinics and community settings, nurses are providing families with information about the transmission of HIV and TB and correcting misconceptions. They help raise awareness about the need for people living with HIV to receive love and support from their families and friends and as such seek to reduce stigmatisation.
As part of their work, they collaborate with legal institutions, human rights volunteers and other legal areas to provide legal protection against child abuse, violence against women and helping widows to protect their property from being seized by their deceased husband’s families. As a result of this work, women have come forward in greater numbers to receive the care and treatment they need. [i]
Programmes where HIV care is integrated into nurseled primary healthcare services have commenced in South Africa. Nurses in primary healthcare are providing first line antiretroviral therapy (ART), sexual health and other holistic care in their clinics. [ii] This has increased the number of women accessing treatment particularly after suffering sexual abuse. It is hoped that by improving access to ART in areas with limited access to medical care, that the transmission of HIV will be reduced.
[i] UNAIDS, HIV – Related Stigma, Discrimination and Human Rights Violations: Case studies of successful programs, UNAIDS, Editor. 2005: New York.
[ii] Uebel, K., et al., Integrating HIV care into nurseled primary health care services in South Africa: a synthesis of three linked qualitative studies. BMC health services research, 2013. 13(1): p. 1.