"Something is eluding us in the fight against AIDS. When travelling through southern and eastern Africa it is impossible to dodge the dour reality of how AIDS is annihilating the community life of village and neighbourhoods, once the cornerstone and strength of the African way of life". Young men and women who are exposed to the facts about HIV and AIDS from skilled educators are still becoming infected. The author visited and spoke with community workers in South Africa. She also visited SALAMA a PWRDF partner in Nampula, Mozambique, with very explicit education and awareness programs. "Program Coordinator Yolanda Napoleao was quite candid in saying information and knowledge is not enough, Stopping AIDS is about a personal journey that includes changing behaviour. Educators find it hard to know what triggers the change". In Nairobi, Kenya, the author visited Crisis Pregnancy Ministries of Kenya (CPMK), a small faith-based NGO which emphasizes abstinence. "Secular NGOs and governments are doing a great job as they focus on the technical aspects of the problem: treatment, use of condoms, protected sex, rights of women to negotiate safe sex, etc. But as many educators assert, it is behavioural change, specifically young men's behaviour, that will ultimately have a greater impact in the battle against AIDS. CPMK puts the onus on teens to change their behaviour. And an answer to what is eluding us in the fight against AIDS among youth might just be there. Given all the information and options, young teens might be better equipped to choose a life path that leads to change because they respect life and know that AIDS kills".
"This article is the first in a series". The author is "Development Program Coordinator: Africa, Primate's World Relief and Development Fund. She recently returned from a PWRDF partners visit to South Africa, Kenya and Mozambique."
"Sifa Naru is the widowed mother of three boys. She lost her husband to AIDS in 2009 and has been diagnosed as HIV+ herself. She was having difficulty staying on her anti-retroviral (ARV) medication, which is to be taken twice daily with food, because she often was able to eat twice a day, sometimes not even once". "With the generous donation of $25,000 from the Ottawa's GIFT campaign, PWRDF is funding a food aid package to provide two months of food to people who are starting their ARVs in Mozambique. The project will dramatically impact the lives of 400 AIDS patients over four years helping them to survive the shock of ARVs in their bodies which have been weakened by poor nutrition and hunger". "PWRDF's partner Association of Community Health (EHALE) will work with patients to help them learn about nutrition and to grow food for themselves once they are back on their feet".