World AIDS Day – St. Damien HIV Program

CIMG4951World AIDS Day is December 1, 2015. Annually the St. Damien HIV program screens 20,000 adults (including pregnant women) and children for HIV ending with 2% being positive. Only pregnant women and children receive care at St. Damien. All other adults who tested positive are referred to other sites. Together with their parents, the children infected with HIV receive psychological follow-up care and medical treatment including anti-retroviral therapy. Social workers assist with coordination of other PEPFAR or Global Fund programs offering economical help, food, housing, vocational training, micro credit opportunities and academic scholarships. With time, some children are referred to new sites that open near their community to improve compliance. To date, approximately 800 children are followed, 484 receive anti-retroviral therapy (ART). Additionally every year approximately 60 pregnant women benefit from the prevention of transmission of HIV to their babies.

The HIV program employees 40 staff, of which three are part-time.

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