The 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) was held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from July 23 through July 27, 2018. This conference is the premier world-wide gathering for those working in the field of HIV, including researchers and clinicians as well as policymakers, people living with HIV, and activists. Friends in Global Health (FGH) team members were in attendance to present their work, and to learn and engage with others committed to ending the epidemic.
This year, the FGH team presented an abstract on their evaluation of an intervention aimed at increasing utilization of available services, and improving the outcomes of survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) who seek health care services in Zambézia province, Mozambique.
Intervention elements included a targeted package of activities focused on community education and training. Education components included theater presentations and lectures to educate community members on the importance of seeking immediate care for GBV. Training of community members included religious leaders, traditional healers, traditional birth attendants, police, judges, activists, and others contributing to GBV referral systems.
While the initial evaluation results did not show an increase of survivors seeking care, those that did obtain care were more engaged in care. Among those seeking health services for sexual violence at a clinic, significant increases were seen in completion of follow-up visits and re-testing for HIV.
To further evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention on HIV incidence among GBV survivors, the evaluation team will continue to assess follow-up activities for up to six months for survivors who were potentially exposed to HIV and initiated post-exposure prophylaxis.
This project was supported by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Pictured from left to right: Sara Van Rompaey – Quality Improvement Technical Advisor, FGH; Caroline De Schacht – Evaluations Director, FGH; Rosa Cuco – Gender Advisor to the Health Minister, Mozambican Ministry of Health; Raquel Cossa – GBV Focal Point, Mozambican Ministry of Health; Carolyn Audet – Principal Investigator, Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health