Last month, GAIA signed an agreement with USAID’s One Community to test over 11,000 Malawians for HIV in less than 6 weeks.
One Community (OC) is a PEPFAR funded community-based response to Malawi’s HIV epidemic, implemented by Johns Hopkins University. It is a five-year initiative to provide high HIV-incidence areas with access to the appropriate care and treatment needed to restore the sick to health, while supporting community development efforts to build opportunities for those living with HIV.
As a well-established service provider in Mulanje and Phalombe, two of the eight targeted districts, GAIA was tapped by One Community to deploy our trained healthcare workers to provide HIV testing and counseling (HTC). Testing sites rotate daily and weekly and are held in locations meant to target individuals who are not likely to visit established clinics. During the week, daily local markets will become pop-up testing sites and on weekends, popular fishing holes will offer HIV testing and counseling.
As always, GAIA staff is carefully tracking our progress and our results to continue to learn what works best in collaboratively engaging communities, selecting worthwhile testing locations, and implementing the use of technology to spread the word and boost demand for HTC.
Reaching 11,000 rural villagers at the far end of the road in Malawi is a daunting assignment, even without the tight 6-week deadline.
Thanks to our hardworking GAIA staff on the ground, our strong program model, and our longstanding relationships in southern Malawi, we are more than equal to the task.
GAIA President & CEO