Africa needs to empower People Living With HIV (PLWH) to be part of solutions in preventing transmission of the virus in poor resource settings, the Amref Health Africa International Conference heard yesterday.
Emeritus Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keith McAdam, told the conference that PLWH should be trained and used as Change Agents in HIV prevention programmes.
McAdam gave the example of NAMWEZA in Tanzania, which is a ten-session participatory programme for training of Change Agents affected by HIV.
Through interviewing and listening to each other, the Change Agents become a network of supportive people who are recognising and naming each others’ skills and abilities.
“NAMWEZA importantly has a future focus, encouraging people, as they appreciate their competences, to dream or imagine their future, including active engagement in entrepreneurial activities,” said MacAdam.
Africa has about 30 million PLWH, contributing to 68 per cent of the world population living with the virus.