MALI: Gundo-So – The circle of trust

– MALI –
February 18th, 2015

© Harandane DICKO for the Fondation de France

Malian women living with HIV are at particular risk of stigmatization, divorce, repudiation, having their children taken from them, or simply being abandoned. This is because they are often completely dependent on their husbands, both economically and socially. In this context, the decision of whether or not to disclose their HIV positive status can be a dangerous one which can carry serious consequences. The circle of trust, or Gundo-So in Bambara, is a community program created specifically for these women, to give them the tools to make smart, well-thought-out decisions on the subject.

The program involves an assessment interview, as well as ten weekly meetings and an optional group session. Many of the tools used are distinctly born of Malian culture, from stones to estimate the weight of the secret, to wooden sticks to measure the pros and cons of disclosure, etc. Testimonials from women who’ve been through the program make it clear: the impact has been very positive. The program was launched in 2010 by ARCAD-SIDA (the Malian member of Coalition PLUS), and has been implemented in six centres in Bamako, and one in the Kayes region, in the west of the country.

Learn more about Gundo-So



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