Health facility reports have shown that People living with HIV (PLHIV) in the City of Kigali adhere less well to HIV treatment than PLHIV in other provinces. Consequently, their viral load suppression is lower than in other parts of the country. Enough reason for APPV IGIHOZO, a Rwandan NGO of PLHIV based in Nyarugenge and member of RRP+, to run the extra mile to improve the referral, adherence and retention to HIV services in the City of Kigali.
With funding of UNAIDS and in collaboration with RBC and RRP+, IGIHOZO will work closely with peer educators, health facility staff, community leaders and PLHIV to raise awareness about the importance of adherence to HIV treatment, to strengthen community based follow-up of PLHIV to increase retention and to promote HIV prevention services.
In the coming weeks, IGIHOZO will organize an advocacy meeting with key stakeholders of the HIV response (including head of health facilities and district doctor mentors) to promote the importance of adherence to HIV treatment and care programs, followed by a refresher training with youth and adult peer educators about community peer support. The trained peer educators in turn will raise the awareness of the community about HIV prevention and adherence to ART. To reach a large number of people, a few peer educators and health facility staff will provide key messages on HIV prevention and treatment during a radio spot and TV show, where testimonies of peer educators will hopefully serve as inspiring examples for others on how to live a healthy life. The lessons learnt of this campaign will contribute to achieving the national targets and improving the HIV response in other districts as well.