MCD Inc.

HIV / AIDS / Tuberculosis

Background

In 2015, an estimated 36.7 million people were living with HIV. Of the world’s population living with HIV, 25.5 million live in sub-Saharan Africa. Around one third of HIV-infected individuals are also infected with latent tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV.


MCDI has formed innovative partnerships and implemented cost-effective interventions to combat HIV/AIDs and TB in areas where co-infection is highest.


Integrated treatment of HIV/AIDS and TB

In several of MCDI’s projects, MCDI has prioritized the integration of TB services with HIV/AIDs interventions. MCDI has specifically focused on increasing awareness in communities about TB and HIV/TB co-infection. MCDI has trained local health workers in integrated treatment and set up counseling services to encourage patients in completing their treatments for both HIV/AIDS and TB.


MCDI has facilitated HIV/TB screenings in health facilities. Screening HIV positive individuals for TB as well as screening TB patients for HIV improves TB case finding and treatment adherence. Screening also improves the quality of TB service delivery, improves integration of HIV and TB services, increases Direct Observation Treatment Short-course (DOTS) support as well and improves community support for TB treatment.


Behavior Change Communication

Behavior Change Communication (BCC) activities have been an essential means by which MCDI has worked to reduce the prevalence of HIV in communities. MCDI has developed and implemented BCC intervention strategies designed to diminish risk, promote care-seeking behavior, reduce stigma, and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDs and TB on persons living with AIDS as well as orphans and vulnerable children.


MCDI has worked to build capacity for Ministries of Health and local organizations to implement BCC activities of their own. MCDI has assessed the training needs of BCC programmers, has held national and community level discussions on the issues surrounding HIV/AIDs/STIs, has determined the challenges of implementing successful campaigns, has identified target audiences, and has assessed protocols for monitoring and evaluation. After assessment, MCDI’s primary efforts have focused on providing technical assistance, training and mentoring of BCC providers.


Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT)

MCDI has included PMTCT as an area of priority in our HIV/AIDS projects. MCDI has established community-based PMTCT support groups facilitated by community health workers. MCDI has worked to create training material for community health workers on PMTCT and has provided training of trainers. Strengthening government capacity to provide PMTCT services has also been a priority for MCDI, including working to increase the number of women who register for antenatal care and increasing the number of home visits to mothers three days after delivery. MCDI has also worked to integrate PMTCT with TB screening and treatment.


Youth and special populations

In its HIV/AIDS/TB work, MCDI has worked to provide screening and treatment for youth and special populations. MCDI has worked to increase care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) within health systems. Youth-friendly health clinics have been created and supported in order to provide comprehensive HIV/TB care to youth, encouraging screening and adherence to treatment through strong community participation through BCC activities.


In Swaziland, MCDI has worked specifically with military personnel, as they are a group highly susceptible to HIV/AIDS due to age and increased opportunity for sexual contact because of frequent deployment. MCDI has assisted the Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Forces in implementing new prevention strategies (including public awareness and BCC initiatives) and strengthening the capacity to support personnel with HIV/AIDS.


Working against stigma

Through its various projects, MCDI has also addressed HIV/AIDS related stigma, discrimination, blame and collective denial that creates barriers to effectively addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic. MCDI has worked to address stigma in communities by building capacity for local organizations that fight stigma, utilizing multiple approaches for community mobilization and to improve legal protections for people living with HIV/AIDS. MCDI’s programs have worked with people living with HIV/AIDs to come together to fight stigma within their own communities through support groups and community mobilization.