The community had a problem with high death rates of parents due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. These deaths were attributed to lack of HIV/AIDS prevention literacy, condoms, sensitization, and treatment and led to a growing number of orphans and vulnerable children without parental support who, as a result, often became involved in harmful practices. Sensitizing the community through the provision of HIV/AIDS literacy, prevention measures, distribution of condoms, and accessing ARVs (treatment) is important to the community because HIV infections would be reduced and ARVs would prolong life of parents.
WDF VCT members informed the community using megaphones and invited them to visit the WDF Center in Bugiri to receive HIV/AIDS prevention literacy and condoms, voluntary counseling, and testing conducted by a specialized HIV testing organization known as UDHA. 25 VCT sessions were conducted in ten months, in partnership with TASO, in which 600 male and female parents received HIV/AIDS prevention literacy, 450 were tested and 90 were found to be positive and were referred to health centers for ARV evaluation. Follow-ups to health centers indicated that 79 male and female parents accessed ART (Antiretroviral Treatment) and their lives were being prolonged. The initiative reduced the number of parental deaths and as a result reduced the number of orphans and vulnerable children who may have become involved in harmful practices.
The community had low parental mortality rate as well as orphans and vulnerable children involved in harmful practices such as theft, glue sniffing, begging, and living on the streets. Because of the group’s efforts, 79 parents in the community accessed ART, 285 children whose parents’ lives are being prolonged due to ART and were supposed to be orphaned are being supported by their parents. About 250 parents who received HIV/AIDS prevention literacy and tested negative responded to HIV prevention measures of having one sexual partner and using a condom whenever they have sex. 12,000 condoms were used by the community in ten months and up to now they are still collecting from the center.