Aimas/Pepfar faith and community initiative: Religious leaders as ambassadors of the fight against HIV

Developing new messages of hope, communication materials to reduce stigma and improve HIV knowledge and treatment adherence following the model of the Faith and Community initiative is the message from COP 21.

In 2020, 7,070 people living with HIV abandoned anti-retroviral treatments, according to the results of a survey carried out in Côte d’Ivoire on the factors favoring the exit of patients from the healthcare circuit.

To deal with this situation, the Faith and Communities Initiative of Pepfar urged religious leaders yesterday, at the Palm club-hotel, to join the awareness campaign by providing them with communication materials.

This, in order to sensitize men over 15 years of age in order to make them understand the epidemic. The aim is to involve the community in this campaign through faith-based structures.

These are 4 40X60 posters, two sets of advice cards containing 13 new messages of hope, two video clips, 2 audio sketches and a guide to using all the media that will be distributed to religious guides and actors in the fight against HIV-AIDS.

For Pétronille Acray-Zengbé, vice-president of the board of directors of the Ivorian Social Marketing Agency (Aimas), this act was possible thanks to the long and fruitful collaboration between Aimas and the Ministry of Health. , public hygiene and universal health coverage (Mshp-Cmu).

“Aimas is committed to providing the partners implementing this initiative with the necessary support during the broadcast, so that these new messages of hope have a real impact on the target group, which is made up of men of over 15 and religious guides,” she said.

Before adding that the vision of Aimas for 2023 is to contribute to producing a measurable impact on the health well-being of populations, by promoting the health of mothers and children, as well as the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Dr. Ehui Eboua, coordinating director of the national program to fight against AIDS (Pnls), indicated that this delivery of communication support is the culmination of reflections on the evaluation of the national strategic plan 2016-2020.

“Unlike other years, there was a lot of communication. But over the past ten years, there has been a lack of communication and a poor perception of AIDS,” he said.

He added that it is strong of all these observations, that the Pnls, put in its national strategic plan 2021-2025, the religious at the center of the fight.

It should be noted that this initiative received funding from Pepfar, through Usaid, to develop new messages of hope in order to reduce stigma and improve knowledge about HIV-AIDS.