Connecting People Living with HIV/AIDS to Care and Treatment Services
KIHUMBE is a non-governmental organization in Mbeya, Tanzania working to support HIV+ people. One of our primary goals is to achieve the 90-90-90 strategy in Tanzania:
- 90% of people living with HIV should know their HIV status
- 90% of people diagnosed with HIV receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART)
- 90% of people receiving antiretroviral therapy attain viral load suppression
KIHUMBE is working hard to ensure the identification of HIV+ clients and testing high risk and/or exposed people, linkages for enrollment of all identified HIV+ clients and retain them in HIV care and treatment services at health facilities.
Referral & Linkages
To ensure effective linkages for clients to get comprehensive HIV prevention, care, treatment and support services in the Mbeya region, KIHUMBE uses community based HIV and AIDS service providers such as peer educators for provision of escorted referrals and link clients who are in need of further services and assist them to access services to care and treatment clinics at health facilities. Linkage of beneficiaries depends on the client’s willingness and readiness to be referred for further services.
In order to ensure retention of clients to care, all identified HIV+ clients who are linked at health facilities for enrollment are initiated in Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), and connected to community-based HIV/AIDS services program and join People Living with HIV support groups where clients share experiences on their HIV status, adherence and the importance of retained services.
KIHUMBE follows up the referrals of clients who referred for care through a referral tracking register to ensure services are provided and clients continue receiving the required services. Also, clients are connected to Community Based HIV/AIDS Services and peer support groups for close follow-up through use of community service providers who are attached to health facilities.
KIHUMBE organization have high contribution to people living with HIV roughly about 80% of beneficiaries diagnosed with HIV are receiving Antiretroviral Therapy in health facilities.
Community Stories and Influential Peer Educators
Meet Daudi Lings Ulaya
A 56-year old man who joined Kihumbe as one of the peer educators in 2016. He was diagnosed with HIV in 2010. He dedicates his time to educating people about the disease in Ikuluwa ward, in a rural area in Mbeya. He is very open about his condition and uses it to inspire others who have lost hope.
“I confirmed I was HIV positive in 2010 after deciding to get tested. But this was after a long
time of delaying, as I suspected that I was infected since 2007 after my health deteriorated,”
explains Daudi. “During that time I was living in denial, telling myself that I must have
been bewitched” he added.
After receiving counselling he was able to face reality- he decided to make it open to the whole family, including his two wives. He gathered his whole family and explained his condition. His second wife Nsia Daudi became very worried.
“The first thought that came into my mind was that I might also be infected,” says the charming
woman. “So I decided to get tested, and when my results came out negative, I did not
believe it. I took the test two more times and it was confirmed that I was not infected” said Nsia Daudi, the second wife.
The first wife, Maria Daudi also went to get tested and was also proven not to be infected by
Mr. Daudi was very proud to join KIHUMBE and believed that he can take a lead and educate people on HIV and how to avoid it. He is now a very famous person not because of the condition but the influence he has in society.
“Joining KIHUMBE as a Peer Educator has really helped me. The education that I have received
has made me learn a lot of things, including how to protect my wives from getting infected. I
will make sure that I protect them, as well as the whole village,” explains Daudi, adding: “The
whole village knows about me. I go to funerals and ask for a chance to talk to the people there
about HIV. I go to village meetings and talk about how to protect yourself from the virus. I go
to pubs and talk about how to live healthy. And they come to my house and get the free
condoms” he said, laughing proudly.
What is Next?
Our plan towards reaching 90-90-90 goals is to continue providing HIV services (HTS) through testing and mobile testing in the community and ensure all identified HIV+ clients are linked to health facilities for ART initiation.
Also, KIHUMBE will ensure that all people receiving ART are linked to community-based HIV and AIDS services for close follow-up of ART adherence.