Give a day to world AIDS.
One day can change the world.

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What is Give a Day?

Give a Day is a grassroots response to the global HIV epidemic. More than two thirds of the 36.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS are in sub-Saharan Africa. The Stephen Lewis Foundation and Dignitas International are working together to challenge Canadians to recognize World AIDS Day, December 1, by giving a day’s pay to stand with African families and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. One day can change the world.

Education

SLF partners have been providing children with the extra support they need to attend, and stay in school; helping with the cost of school fees, uniforms and books; setting up kids clubs and youth groups; building libraries; and working with schools to design special programmes on HIV prevention and positive living. They are standing by girls and young women, and defending their rights against the myriad social, economic and cultural pressures that would deny them an education.

Holistic Support

SLF partners’ work is holistic and people-centered. Community-based organizations see the problem from the perspective of the lives of the people who have been infected with and affected by HIV & AIDS. They are helping to deliver life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) medication and healthcare, but they are also doing so much more. The task that community-based organizations have set for themselves goes beyond tackling the medical aspect of the epidemic. Their programming aims, ultimately, to restore hope, dignity and possibility to individuals and their communities, so that they can begin to move forward again with their lives. This approach makes all the difference in the world.

Testing and Treatment

Dignitas works hard to ensure that everyone in the communities we serve knows their HIV status and has access to the treatment and care they need to realize UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment targets. By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of those people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression. This early identification and treatment approach is important to preserve health, prevent further transmission, and turn the tide on the HIV epidemic in Africa.

Livelihoods

SLF partners are helping people to farm crops, raise animals, train in trades and work as artisans. They’re running income-generating projects, finding local markets for their products, and setting up village savings and loans groups. People who were once destitute and forced to rely on handouts are now able to support themselves and their families, and are making new plans for their futures.

Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission

Each year there are 240,000 new infections among children under 14 in developing countries. Without treatment, 80% will die by the age of five. Dignitas supports Malawi’s bold efforts to build an AIDS-free generation through work with frontline health workers to deliver treatment to HIV-positive mothers in Malawi through Option B+. This is a groundbreaking national program to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT). Option B+ aims to suppress an HIV+ mother’s viral load through treatment and prevent transmission to her baby before and during birth and while breastfeeding. Option B+ ensures that babies are born HIV-free and that mothers remain healthy so they can care for their children and lead productive lives.

Expert Clients

Dignitas encourages greater involvement of people living with HIV in the delivery of health care. This is the underlying principle behind our Expert Client program. Expert Clients are HIV-positive people that have openly declared their status and work to inspire others to seek testing and treatment. As living proof that treatment works, Expert Clients also provide essential peer-based support to patients who have just begun HIV treatment. With more than 210 Expert Clients serving 80 health facilities, these men and women are role models helping to destigmatize HIV and breakdown barriers to accessing treatment.

Youth-Friendly Healthcare

Being a teen can be tough, but growing up HIV-positive is even more challenging. HIV-positive youth are particularly vulnerable to stigma and face gaps between pediatric and adult care. As a result, teens living with HIV are deterred from seeking treatment are more likely to drop out of care which puts their health at great risk. Dignitas fills this gap in care with Teen Club. Dignitas provides a safe space for HIV-positive teens to receive their medications, play interactive games, learn about their unique health challenges, and form supportive peer relationships. Our research has shown that adolescents who go to Teen Club are three times more likely to stay on treatment than those who don’t.

Grandmothers

Grandmothers are shouldering the huge burden of raising a generation of children orphaned by AIDS. In many sub-Saharan African countries up to 60% of orphaned children are living with their grandmothers, and they are often caring for four, six or even ten children at a time. They are the backbone of orphan care and the heart of the continent's response to HIV & AIDS. SLF partners provide grandmothers and the children in their care with supports that include food, educational supplies, uniforms and school fees, medical care, HIV counselling and testing, adequate housing and bedding, counselling and support groups, home visits, and much more. Through their approach, grandmothers are regenerating and reclaiming their sense of purpose in life.

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