Burundi: Thank you for your solidarity!

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BURUNDI: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SOLIDARITY!
August 19, 2015

TURIHO_1 (2)While Burundi sinks further into a deep political crisis, punctuated by violence that has caused about a hundred deaths so far and forced some 170,000 Burundians to flee their country, the members of l’Association nationale de soutien aux séropositifs et malades du sida (ANSS – National Association for Support to HIV-positive and AIDS patients) refuse to abandon their beneficiaries, taking daily risks to go out and do their work and carry out their mission. Despite that, many patients are obliged to remain in their homes and no longer go to their medical appointments. This endangers their lives.

The urgency of the situation has led FQSIDA and its partner, Coalition Plus, to mobilize, and launch an exceptional appeal for donations for this historic association which currently provides medical and psycho-social support for more than 5,000 HIV-positive adults and children throughout the country. This upsurge of solidarity is beginning to bear fruit since the generosity of our donors has already enabled us to collect close to CAN$ 15,000.

Burundi 1This money will enable the ANSS to come to the assistance of AIDS orphans whom it lodges, feeds, and provides with education and medical care. These orphans – most of whom have found it extremely difficult to obtain treatment – are caught up in deadly clashes of which they understand absolutely nothing.

HIV in Burundi:
This country of 10 million inhabitants is in the throes of a generalised epidemic: 1.2 % of its people are HIV-positive; 50% are less than 25 years old. ANSS alone provides medical care and access to treatment to more than 5,000 persons.

Photos: © Coalition PLUS

The fight against HIV/AIDS and LGBT* rights in Africa

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AFRICA
THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS AND LGBT* RIGHTS
November 25t, 2014

Africagay2As in Uganda, where President Museveni recently signed an act into law that considerably worsens the repression of homosexuality, 40% of UN member states – that’s 39 African countries out of 54 – still criminalize sexual relations between people of the same sex. We can no longer ignore the disastrous public health ramifications that stem from criminalization. Criminalization is also a major obstacle in the fight against HIV/AIDS, since it pushes people into hiding, and distances them from prevention and care services.

African community organizations ANSS and REVS+, members of Coalition PLUS, have long been working with and for LGBT communities in Burundi and Burkina Faso in the areas of prevention, human rights, and health issues. Both organizations are also members of Africagay against AIDS, a network of HIV/AIDS and LGBT associations from eight African countries, which receives technical and financial support from AIDES (a founding member of Coalition PLUS) and Sidaction. The network works to ensure that Africa’s LGBT communities have access to prevention and care, on the principle that the discrimination these people are subjected to is an affront to human rights, and serves to feed the epidemic.

To learn more about Africagay against AIDS, visit africagay.org

* Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
Illustration: @ AIDES — Africagay against AIDS

Burundi: Local branches of the ANSS for better access to care and treatment

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– BURUNDI –
LOCAL BRANCHES OF THE ANSS FOR BETTER ACCESS TO CARE AND TREATMENT
February 7th, 2014

burundiThe little laboratory in the Gitega branch office provides free screening and medical monitoring of HIV-seropositive patients. ©Coalition PLUS

Gitega, the second largest city in Burundi and focal point of the province of the same name, is a two-hour drive from the capital Bujumbura, in the very heart of the country. The quality of public clinics there is very low, and there is a chronic lack of personnel, medications and medical equipment. The cost of seeing a doctor and getting treatment is prohibitive for most patients living in this particularly poor rural region. The prevalence of HIV is higher in this province than the national average, with 4.6% of the population living with the virus. Aware of the importance of decentralizing medical services to render them more accessible to poor, isolated people, the Association Nationale de Soutien aux Séropositifs et aux Malades du Sida (ANSS), member of Coalition PLUS, set up one of its four branches in Gitega in 2005. Today, this regional centre plays an absolutely vital role in the lives of 2,000 women, children and men living with HIV/AIDS. They benefit from free medical care and social services, and more than 1,000 are receiving antiretroviral treatments thanks to the Association.

Burundi – The prevention of mother-to-child transmission programm, with ANSS

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– BURUNDI –
THE PREVENTION OF MOTHER-TO-CHILD TRANSMISSION PROGRAM, WITH ANSS
July 31th, 2012

For the ANSS (Association Nationale , medical care is a key service and begins as soon as a patient is admitted to one of the association’s four branches (Turiho, Kirundo, Gitega, and Makamba). The qualified staff orients and accompanies users while giving them quality care: medical consultation, lab results analysis, counselling, voluntary and anonymous testing, as well as social support and more.

IMG_4923Among Burundi’s most important HIV/AIDS-related issues is the defence of the rights of infected women, including the right to have children; the ANSS’s prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program is part of its commitment to that issue.

All four ANSS branches offer prevention activities to properly inform women of childbearing age about how to have a healthy child and raise it themselves in good physical condition, and make them aware of the importance of asking their doctor for counselling and accompaniment even before conception.

Women taking antiretroviral therapies are offered compliance enhancement sessions, as well as information sessions on infant nutrition, as breast milk is a potential HIV vector.

Pregnant women who are not being treated are accompanied to help them get access to antiretrovirals and, if possible, begin the PMTCT protocol.

Thanks to ANSS, in 2011 alone, 84 HIV-positive pregnant women got access to antiretroviral treatment, and 138 healthy children were born to HIV-positive mothers who had undergone the PMTCT protocol.

2012: The ANSS becomes the 8th full member of Coalition PLUS
Technical support and capacity building for member and partner associations is a cornerstone of Coalition PLUS. Following eight missions in two years and above all, through considerable effort of its own, Burundi’s ANSS meets international standards for accounting, a hallmark of professionalism and credibility, as well as all criteria for full membership in Coalition PLUS. Accordingly, on May 5, 2012, the ANSS became the eighth community organization to become a member since 2008.

The organizations in Africa

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THE ORGANIZATIONS IN AFRICA
July 2nd, 2010

 

Morocco: ALCS
ALCS, the first association formed to fight AIDS in the Maghreb and the Middle East, was founded in February 1988. ALCS carries out prevention activities and cares for people living with HIV/AIDS. It also defends the rights of the most vulnerable groups (male and female sex workers, migrants, prisoners, truck drivers, and drug users).

Democratic Republic of Congo: ACS/AMO-Congo
ACS/AMO-Congo is the first medical care management structure in the country. Thousands of AIDS orphans are supported by the Association. It also provides numerous community support services to people living with HIV/AIDS and those affected by HIV.

Burundi: ANSS
ANSS, the national association supporting people who are HIV-positive and living with AIDS is one of the first associations to combat AIDS in Burundi. Since 1993, it has been providing voluntary and free screening, clinical and psychosocial care management, and material and financial assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Mali: ARCAD/SIDA
Founded in Mali in September 1994, ARCAD/SIDA is an association that carries out research and provides home care to people living with HIV/AIDS. Tens of thousands of people affected are monitored at the association’s centres, where they benefit from free global healthcare, including antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. ARCAD/SIDA was also one of the first African associations to have set up a program to provide gay Malians with access to means of prevention and care.

Burkina Faso: REVS+
Created in 1997, REVS+ is one of the first Burkinabé associations in the fight against HIV/AIDS, in particular, through the global management of care of people living with HIV/AIDS. REVS+ has the objective of assuring the health and social and economic well-being of its members and the general public, in terms of sustained human development in the context of HIV/AIDS.