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NATIONAL HIV/AIDS RESEARCH AND BEST PRACTICES CONFERENCE - page 6 / 103

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A.2.Famli AIDS cultural change programme

Richard Cremins, S.J.

The Programme Objective is taken from the National HIV/AIDS Strategy [4.1]: “to achieve reform of those cultural norms, values and practices which predispose Malawians to HIV infection.”

Scope: the Programme wishes to provide everybody with education about sexuality and HIV avoidance suited to their stage of growth and human development and to their state in life, in such a way that they will avoid risky behaviour.

Fertility Awareness Education includes:

The anatomy and physiology of human reproduction and the fertility cycle.

A scientific understanding of sexuality and the person, the meaning of sex in life.

How HIV is transmitted and avoided.

Condoms and HIV.

The sure way of avoiding HIV: abstinence outside marriage and fidelity within it.

Making intercourse exciting.

Need for VCT.

Destigmatisation of PLWAs.

Mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

HIV+ mothers and breastfeeding.

Circles of Life provides instruction and services in the Bead Method of family planning by Fertility Awareness and Selective Use (FASU or Natural Family Planning). This also completes the national family planning menu. The interest shown in this family planning method is the entry point for education about HIV avoidance. A side-effect is greater fidelity.Youth Alive mobilises youth in order to “change behaviours that predispose the youth to HIV infection” [Strategy 3.4.2].

Village Tikhale Moyo Groups discuss, in order to change, the dangerous practices listed in the National AIDS Policy, and collaborate in improving their way of life.

Methodology: Train peer educators and establish them in service in the community.

Results: On 31.12.2004, 30 months after the first training session: 69 field workers, 5199 couples instructed, 1000 under instruction, 3000 waiting to learn. 21 TKM groups from 840 households. 193 Youth Alive peer educators trained, 514 youths workshopped + outreach to 4800 [Lilongwe only].

Conclusions: The Programme is acceptable and effective among those reached.

Recommendation: The Programme should be extended to every District.

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