Tag Archives: Rural

HIV Awareness Campaign Yields Results in Tanzanian Village

None of the 2,500 out of 15,000 villagers in Rusaba Village, Kasulu District, Kigoma Region, tested positive for HIV this year between July and September. Local health workers had never come upon such results. They attribute it to an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign conducted by Tanzania Red Cross and Action Aid International, low interaction between villagers and outsiders, and close-knit family structures.

Depending on the size and diversity of the population tested, HIV infection rates can appear distorted. AIDSTanzania, for example, has tested in rural villages during our trips to the Arusha area. In one village, of 100 people tested there were zero positive tests. At face value this is great news. However, a number of factors could be at play: HIV-positive people who know of their infection are usually not going to get tested again; those who suspect they have HIV are afraid to come forward and get tested; and with only 100 tests available, tests go to the aware individuals who show up early because they are already thinking about HIV prevention.

Because the testing in Rusaba Village was of 2,500 of 15,000 people over a period of a few months, we can be confident that it was a representative sample of villagers. These results, and the influential HIV awareness campaign, are something to keep in mind as we work to prevent HIV, encourage testing, and spread education.

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Truckers Leave AIDS Viral Loads in Namanga Border Town

This article tells a story that is a common narrative in Tanzania about how HIV is spread. This time, the story takes place in Namanga, a border town between Tanzania and Kenya, and the theory is that HIV infections are rising in the town due to heavy trucker traffic and the nomadic lifestyle of the border communities.

Namanga, at the border of Kenya and Tanzania

Namanga, at the border of Kenya and Tanzania

While in Tanzania, our own group heard similar stories about how commuting brings HIV back into the rural villages – men would go into Arusha to work and to seek entertainment, sometimes contract the HIV virus through sexual partners in the city, and then unknowingly bring HIV back to their family and community. This is why some statistics suggest the HIV infection rate growing in rural areas even as it stabilizes or decreases in cities.

This is a similar problem to Namanga’s border town HIV problem. Residents and officials of this area blame in sufficient health and medical facilities both for failing to stop the spread of the virus. The article also suggests that though reported HIV rates are low, the problem is critical – implying not only insufficient medical care, but insufficient testing and potentially a heavy stigma regarding HIV.

Truckers Leave Aids Viral Loads in Namanga Border Town

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New HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Center at Mount Meru Regional Hospital

Arusha Times, Tanzania: Centre Promises New Lease of Life Amid HIV/Aids Threat

Arusha Times, Tanzania: Centre Promises New Lease of Life Amid HIV/Aids Threat

A new HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Center has just opened at Mount Meru Regional Hospital in the Arusha Municipal, near AIDSTanzania’s community partner the U.A.A.C.C.  The center is funded through PEPFAR (U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), and it will provide services to the 1.3 million residents of five districts of the Arusha Region and the neighboring Manyara Region.

It will be exciting to see if this new center creates any changes in HIV prevalence or in the perception of availability of treatment options in this area. The Arusha region is a large, diverse region with many people living far away from cities where treatment can be accessed. Perhaps this is an opportunity for a partnership between this Center, AIDSTanzania, and the U.A.A.C.C. in the future…

This Center is sure to create positive change in the lives of those living with HIV in Tanzania and hopefully have an impact on prevention as well.

Read the article here.

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The Need For Regional Learning Has Become Greater

An article looking at health care systems in Tanzania and how these systems have been shaped by HIV.

Comparative health systems research in a context of HIV/AIDS (pdf)

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