Bahaviour change promoters Conducting a sensitization session at a local bar.
Zambia Health Education and Communications Trust (ZHECT) is a sub-partner to IntraHealth International in the implementation of a five year CDC awarded project to expand and improve access and uptake of HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC) services for individuals, couples and families in selected urban and rural populations in Zambia including the key populations.
ZHECT is conducting all these activities in its quest to contribute to the 90- 90 -90 ambitious treatment target to help end AIDS. This treatment target requires that by the year 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status. By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy. By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
ZHECT is implementing activities in the two Lusaka province districts of Lusaka and Shibuyunji. The two districts were picked for the interventions not only because they are PEPFAR scale up sites but also because a study conducted by UNICEF in 2014 indicates that in Sibuyunji district in particular most young people in the communities who are sexually active prefer unprotected sex. This was evident in their sentiments preferring pills and injections over condoms.
This therefore shows that campaigns and programs aimed at raising awareness must use an integrated approach that will also address prevention of pregnancy and other STIs but where HIV/AIDS awareness remains a critical component of the messaging. It is important to engage communities in the two districts in order to raise awareness about, and discuss sexuality of young people in the public domain. It was also observed in the two districts and like in most parts of the country that, while services are available to young people, community norms are strongly against young people accessing these services particularly the Family Planning and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services.
Zambia Health Education and Communications Trust
Plot 1551 Fairview Area Church Road