The Positive Health Dignity and Prevention Project is a 9 months (December 2015-August 2016) PEPFAR funded grant implemented by Royal Heritage Health Foundation for Management Sciences for Health (MSH) across 5 MSH supported Comprehensive Care and Treatment (CCT) Sites (General Hospital Omu Aran, Sobi Specialist Hospital, General Hospital Offa, General Hospital Lafiagi, and Civil Service Hospital) in Kwara state, Nigeria. The main beneficiaries of the project are People Living with HIV (PLHIV), while the indirect beneficiaries are children, partners and community members living across the intervention sites. The project aims to provide quality secondary HIV prevention services to People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in a manner that will improve the clients’ health and wellbeing and improve clients’ retention on ART and Care.
At the inception of the project, baseline assessments were conducted using Focus and Small Group Discussions (S/FGD) to obtain baseline value on defaulting, low support Group Attendance and retention of PLHIV in continuum of care. A total of 26 (2Male and 24 Female) PLHIV were trained as PHDP volunteers to provide comprehensive PHDP services that meet the minimum requirement within the targeted communities and during Support Group Meetings. At inception of the project, the intervention sites have a total of 9 Support groups: 4 active and 5 inactive . The organization activated the 5 inactive support groups and provided mentorship to the other 4 active support groups. During the project cycle, activities (election and training of executive members, facilitation of regular meeting, resource mobilization training and provision of incentives) that strengthen, coordinate and improve the group cohesion was conducted across the intervention sites.
To strengthen the household economic status and for sustainability of the Project, Six Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) were established in the Support Groups (Keep Fit, Faith and Hope, The Young Shall Grow, Health is Wealth, Life Continues and Amazing grace) affiliated to Civil Service Hospital, Sobi Specialist Hospital and General hospital Offa, a total of 165 (21 Male and 144 Female) PLHIV joined the VSLA across the intervention sites.
During the project cycle; a total of 1004 (283 Male and 921 Female) NEW PLHIV and 1612 (380 Male and 1232 Female) OLD PLHIV were reached with comprehensive PHDP (i.e. Adherence counseling, STI Assessment/Referrals, Family Planning Counseling/Referral, Risk Reduction Counseling, Partner/Children HTC, and Condom messaging) services that meet the minimum requirement across the intervention sites. The Community Volunteers provided 708 (158Male and 550Female) PHDP Home Visits to defaulters and loss to follow up clients using the PHDP Home visit job aid. Referrals were made to the Support group after the visit, a total of 274 (54 Male and 220 Female) PLHIV joined the Support groups across the intervention sites as a result of the PHDP Home visit. A total of 1437 (634 males and 803 Females) persons also completed sessions/interventions to address community specific gender norms and 13 (1Male and 12Female) victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV) were referred for community post GBV care.
As part of sustainability efforts, Advocacies and partners/stakeholders review meetings were conducted to the community, religious and other government partners and stakeholders across the communities of intervention. Community Dialogues were also held across the intervention sites (Offa, Omu-Aran, Edu and Ilorin South) to create awareness on the Gender Norms, Gender Based Violence