Worldwide there are almost 40 million people living with HIV; 67% live in Africa where HIV is the leading cause of death.
60% of the above statistics are women and 75% of all young people infected are female.
According to UNAIDS data 6.2% of the adult population (aged 15 – 49) in Tanzania are living with HIV.
In Tanzania alone almost 1 million children under the age of 17 have been orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS.
SASHITA’s aim is to tackle this huge problem in a number of ways:
- By acknowledging this is a long term issue requiring a response which needs to be defined locally, grounded in evidence and human rights.
- To help stem the pervasive effects of stigma and discrimination by challenging attitudes in an open and up front way using SASHITA’s volunteers who are themselves HIV+ or have worked at grassroots level for a number of years with PLWH*
- To educate the community at every level about HIV/AIDS and the benefits of community support with a view to encouraging healthy and sustainable social and economic development.
- Helping young people develop life skills such as decision making, communication and negotiation skills so they can understand the concepts of risk behaviour and how to avoid it.
- To use a well established training package on gender communication and HIV for the development of workshops based on the GIPA principle ** (Greater Involvement of People living with HIV/AIDS) using art, role play, peer support and various interactions that are not solely dependant on knowledge of local language.
- To forge strong links with local health care providers and ensure access to treatment, care and support for all who require it.
- To halt and begin to reverse the rate of new HIV infections.
- People Living With HIV
**Derived from the Paris AIDS summit declaration of 1994 when 42 countries agreed to commit to the principle. In 2001 189 UN member countries endorsed the GIPA principle as part of the declaration of commitment on HIV/AIDS.