Hope for Relief Organisation formally known as “Kawaza Youth Organisation” is implementing project dubbed “Vyatose (For Us All) HIV Prevention Project. The project is being implemented in Chitipa and Rumphi Districts in the Northern Region of Malawi, in particular at prisons for these Districts. 100% of those found HIV positive are referred to ART services. The project is also geared towards embracement of HIV prevention messages by Chitipa and Rumphi prison officials and advocate for change to HIV risk behaviors (e.g. use of unsterilized sharp objects to create body tattoos and unprotected sexual intercourse e.t.c ) among prisoners at these prisons. All in all, the project is providing HTC and ART services that were not offered at these prisons under the support from Aidsfonds-Netherlands and AmplifyChange-UK.

Some of the activities done in this project includes:
• Education and Awareness Campaigns on HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and care in prisons.
• Voluntary Testing and Counseling Services
• Viral load Screening of HIV positive Prisoners
• Nutrition assessment and support for HIV positive prisoners
• Follow-up home visits for HIV positive prisoners who were released earlier that their prison sentences to check on their adherence to HIV treatment and reintegration into the community

Achievements

  • 680 prisoners have been reached with information on HIV Prevention, treatment and care.
  • 324 prisoners tested for HIV and know their HIV .
  • 49 Prisoners were tested HIV positive and initiated on ART.
  • 25 blood samples for HIV positive prisoners were collected for viral load screening services at Chitipa District Hospital.
  • Nutrition status for 49 HIV positive prisoners were assessed.
  • 324 prisoners were educated on HTC and ART Services through focus group Awareness Discussions.

“HIVOS will further support Hope for Relief Organisation  to advocate for rights of prisoners to have access to their SRHR services in Rumphi  and Chitipa prisons. This will also include Capacity Strengthening in Advocacy, Financial Management and Monitoring and Evaluation of SRHR Programming.”