Education and Support in Preventing and Living with HIV
Men and Traditions Against AIDS (MTAA) is a small scale project carried out in eight villages in West Kenya.
MTAA envisions a generation free from HIV infection and focuses on empowering couples, widows and adolescents with knowledge and skills of mitigating their vulnerability to HIV infection. Moreover, MTAA empowers people living in extreme poverty through Behavior Change Communication (BCC) by addressing cultural practices that fuel the spread of HIV infections.
MTAA, an NGO since 2012, was founded by Mrs. Gertrude Lawrence and Mr. James Wambani. MTAA informs village chiefs and village elders (normally male) about the traditions that promote the transmission of the disease. It is important to include these village chiefs and elders in any solution since they are highly respected and function as keepers of traditions. Working together with these chiefs and elders, MTAA approaches sexually active men and women who run the risk of becoming infected. Behavior change can reduce this risk.
Grace Impact has provided two grants (in 2017 and 2018) to MTAA in Kenya and seeks to expand the program together with MTAA Netherlands.
MTAA Kenya partners with Amref Health Africa, KANCO and APHIA PlUS among others.
The facts speak for themselves:
Grace Impact’s grant is being used for a Youth Friendly Program for HIV infected adolescents and their caregivers. The “Youth Friendly Program” was initiated in April 2016.
The objectives are to evaluate adolescent’s health and academic progress and to reduce the self-stigma among the adolescents. The program enrolled a total of 74 adolescents. The greatest challenge reported by caregivers was poor drug adherence (drug compliance) among adolescents living with HIV.
Frequent counselling sessions by MTAA counsellors and contact with other adolescents has improved drug adherence and contributed to reduction of self stigma among adolescents.
The final report will be ready during the first quarter 2019.