HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) and gender-life skills

The issues of HIV, Aids and gender cannot be addressed in isolation. Our experience is showing us more and more that gender relationships and the highly constrained nature of gendered interactions is one of the root contributors to the pandemic.  Our approach to this issue is to promote gender equality with regard to the law, and gender reconciliation with regard to relationships. We strongly emphasize the need for reconciliation and stronger communication. This approach has been shown to be a powerful tool for addressing the causes of HIV/AIDS and for preventing communities from self-destructing because of gender-based violence and AIDS.

Our strategy integrates HIV, Aids, gender and sexuality using a combination of community outreach, mobilisation and mass media. We encourage behavioral and lifestyle changes that will positively contribute to the reduction of high rates of HIV infections. The approach we have developed in the years of our involvement in this field engages the whole community to strengthen existing institutions and to build and support networks including all those organizations, members of the public and support systems that work in a given area. We directly partner with local community-based non-profit organizations, FBOs, the police and local government. We interact directly with the public through our Community Action Teams of volunteers who carry project implementation and the messages of the project.

Our focus is strongly on the uptake of HIV Counselling and Testing, TB screening, medical male circumcision and ante-natal care, the reduction of teen pregnancies, providing care and support to families affected by HIV and TB, non-communicable diseases and increasing individuals’ adherence to ARV and/or TB treatment. 

Home-Based Care

ESST’s community home based care programme sprung out of a need to treat patients at home. It presupposes that care-givers exist in the community or that a family member is willing and able to provide home based care. It also requires that care-givers have been trained on the basics of HIV/AIDS and community care. The programme provides complete quality health services at home and in communities to help restore and maintain people’s health standards and way of living by providing health services, supported self-care and health education at home.