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Raising Awareness of HIV/AIDS


Widely held misconceptions and a lack of information about ways of infection, transmission and protection against HIV/AIDS puts Egypt at great risk of seeing a spread of the disease. The adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate according to official statistics is considerably lower than that of Sub-Saharan Africa, but experts say the problem could be explosive. Governmental efforts to hinder a potential epidemic are limited as well as the number of civil society organizations working with the HIV/AIDS issue. Taboos surround the issue which restricts people from acquiring sufficient and correct knowledge about the disease, and causes people living with HIV/AIDS to be stigmatized and excluded from society. Since 2008, BLACD is working with Christian Aid to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in 20 communities in Minya.

   
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The universal HIV/AIDS logo ” Together we can”


 


Measuring the current level of awareness


BLACD is currently conducting a study in the target communities to measure the knowledge people have of HIV/AIDS, as well as their attitudes and behavior towards people living with the disease. While the study has not yet been finalized, it is clear that people lack accurate information about ways of infection and transmission of the disease and have almost no knowledge of how to protect themselves. People commonly hold the incorrect belief that the only way of being infected with HIV is through sexual relations outside of marriage.

Interventions to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in local communities

BLACD has established 13 social movements in the target villages whose members work to raise local awareness of HIV/AIDS through campaigns, seminars, village meetings and youth camps. Members of the movements include teachers, directors of youth centers, youth volunteers, active community members and health visitors who all received training on ways of infection, transmission and protection against HIV/AIDS and how to deal with people infected with HIV/AIDS. A committee consisting of officials from the directorates of health, education, youth and sports, as well as media practitioners and religious leaders facilitate the implementation of activities in schools, health units and youth centers.
BLACD is also in the process of producing a drama film carrying messages about HIV/AIDS and people infected with HIV and AIDS patients.

  

Members of Social Movements receive training on HIV/AIDS











Training Medical Doctors

Research carried out by BLACD showed that doctors in local health units have very limited knowledge of HIV/AIDS and the various medicines used to counteract the disease. In order to bridge this knowledge gap, BLACD provides training to medical doctors in the target communities on HIV/AIDS and medical treatment of the disease. BLACD will also undertake a blood testing campaign in all target villages in cooperation with the Directorate of Health and Population.
  

Capacity-building training for Medical doctors


 
 

Words of Beneficiaries

“My father used to make me feel like I was less than my brothers but now he boasts about me to other people in the village” A woman in one of the rural Women’s Movements/

Development of Poor Communities

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