HEART TO HEART: STORY FROM PAUL AND MARIA

All this was due to stigma associated with HIV and AIDS pandemic” Paul and Maria said. “HIV positive people were regarded as outcasts in the society.

They were isolated, called different names and even finger pointed.” Maria also confesses that Paul’s condition changed the perceptions and stereotypes she had towards people living with HIV and AIDS. She also wanted to protect the family name since she loved her husband. Paulo and Maria were the first people in Malampaka village to be known as discordant couple, a situation where one spouse is HIV- while the other is HIV+.

Following the education obtained from the service providers, Paul and Maria have continued living together and have 4 children, all HIV negative with the youngest being 5 years old. The youngest child was born after Paul knew his HIV status. Paul is now working as a volunteer at the Care and Treatment Centre (CTC) in Malampaka HC and has been actively engaged in giving testimonies about his status, advising other HIV positive clients on positive living and has been assisting with tracing clients who are lost to attend treatment with special emphasis to children.

Regina Paulo is a Lay Counselor at the Meatu District Hospital CTC.

Because of HIV, my husband and I have lost two of our children. It has been a pain like no other. In 2002, I gave birth to our first child, a son, who is now a healthy preteen. But during my second pregnancy in 2005, I became ill and weak with fungus all over my body. When I went to the hospital, nurses advised me to take an HIV test. However, I did not follow their advice.  Four months into the pregnancy, I had a miscarriage. In 2006, I finally took the HIV test and discovered that I had the virus. But I could not accept my HIV-positive status.

I did not therefore take the prescribed antiretroviral therapy (ART), even though the drugs were available at the Shinyanga Regional Hospital, which was not nearby. Instead I went to a traditional healer who said that my husband’s ex-wife had bewitched me for invading her household. Unfortunately, I believed that story and followed the healer’s treatment instead. I remained sick.

Program Years one and two have been successful for AGPAHI. We have managed to achieve most of our objectives despite facing several challenges. AGPAHI has expanded and gained momentum in the implementation of HIV &AIDS services in Shinyanga, Geita and Simiyu regions. We continue to strengthen our current programs, train our staff as well as partners at the district councils. For that reason, we plan to ensure that our next program year runs more smoothly with innovative approaches. AGPAHI’s future plans are to increase integration of reproductive and child health, pediatric services, TB testing, male involvement in campaigns such as testing campaigns, cervical cancer screening and so forth. We are also planning to attract more donors to fund our future programs and improve our presence in the above mentioned programs. We continue to learn innovative approaches and costs effective program implementation techniques.

What We Do

  • Provision of Comprehensive HIV Care +

    The purpose of** Boresha Project** is to support comprehensive facility-based HIV testing, care, treatment and support service provision in 9 scale-up and 25 sustained districts in the five lake zone regions of Geita, Mara, Mwanza, Simiyu and Shinyanga. .

  • TB in the Mining Sector Programme +

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  • Accelerated Children Treatment +

    The goal of the PMTCT program is to increase the quality, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of comprehensive HIV/AIDS services in the program’s focus regions in Tanzania, and to ensure a sustainable and locally-owned response..

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