HIV Counsellor ProjectBack
South Africa is home to the largest HIV epidemic, with 5.6 million people living with HIV. The problem is particularly bad in the rural Eastern Cape, where access to education and health resources are limited.
The HIV Counsellor project strives to provide HIV awareness, education and support to patients living with HIV and those who are at high risk. TransCape has four ways in which we tackle the HIV crisis in Nyandeni’s rural villages.
TransCape offers group and individual counselling to patients at the clinic, and answers questions about HIV/AIDS transmission, treatment, disclosure, sexually transmitted infections, and tuberculosis. An HIV test can be done at the clinic with TransCape offering pre- and post-counselling.
In the area that TransCape serves, many people live in isolated villages without access to health information or clinics. Our counsellor visits households in deep rural areas that are difficult to reach to bring the people HIV education and counselling. The program encourages people to know their status.
Every year, TransCape selects four schools to visit once a month throughout the year. At these monthly assemblies, our counsellors educate the students about HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, contraceptives, and drug and alcohol abuse. Because these topics are culturally taboo in most households, students are usually excited to have the opportunity to discuss these issues and ask questions. At the end of the year, all four schools come together to do performances about the information they received from the program. The students teach each other through singing, dancing, drama, and poetry reading.
Community Awareness Days
Every month, TransCape’s counsellors identify an area where there is a need for a community awareness day. Counsellors tailor the information specifically to the community and facilitate group discussions as well as offering private counselling. These events are held at central venues in the community and also provide the participants with resources, such as pamphlets and contraception.