South Africa

HIV/AIDS Home-Based Care and Counseling Program

Ahanang, South Africa

The project is located in the Orange Farm, a township 45 kilometers south of Johannesburg. It has a population of 700,000.

Poverty is rampant in the area, with over 60% unemployment, and very few opportunities for people to better their current situation. Most HIV carriers, therefore, are unable to afford proper treatment for their condition.

HIV/AIDS has an extremely high prevalence in Orange Farm with 57% of the population being infected with the virus according to the Health Department.

There is resistance in the male population to using a condom. Rumors abound in the community that condoms have worms in them, and will give the man an STD if worn.

AMURT opened a clinic at its community center in Orange Farm in 1996 to provide primary health care to the population. In 2001, with initial funding from the Provincial Health Department, AMURT launched the HIV/AIDS program that includes awareness-building and home-based care. We currently employ 19 caregivers who administer to the needs of 186 home-based AIDS patients. They feed them, bathe them, administer their medication and interact with their families. They educate their patients about the nature of the disease and become a compassionate presence in their lives.

In the awareness building component of the program the outreach workers educate the population about the nature of the disease. They advise people to get tested and to change their behavior patterns. First, they tell people, “Be faithful!” Then they say, “If you cannot be faithful, then use a condom at all times.”

Trying to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS is a long struggle, which AMURT is prepared to participate in for the foreseeable future.

You can help!

To contribute you can:
1. Donate online here:
2. Send a donation via the AMURT Global office

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