In collaboration with Baylor Children’s Foundation Malawi, the Clinton Foundation, and the Malawian Ministry of Health, GRS is embarking on an initiative to hold four community-wide Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) soccer tournaments in Malawi between October 2008 and February 2009. The initiative is made possible with support from the Abbott Fund.
The Republic of Malawi has a population of 11.3 million and an estimated HIV prevalence of 14%. Of the 940,000 people living with HIV, approximately 83,000 are children. Baylor Children’s Foundation Malawi, the Clinton Foundation, and the Ministry of Health have initiated a community outreach program to improve identification and early referral to care and treatment of HIV infected children and their families. This pilot program is centered in four pilot sites around Lilongwe, serving a combined catchment area of over 500,000 people. At the health centers serving these communities, less than 200 children are currently enrolled on antiretroviral treatment.
In 2008-09, the GRS/Baylor program aims to:
- Graduate 700 youth using the GRS curriculum
- Improve identification of HIV+ youth by providing VCT for 2,000 people, primarily youth through innovative testing soccer tournament format
- Build capacity of community based role models to deliver an HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum
- Develop/document a model that can be replicated in additional communities in Malawi
- Increase awareness about free HIV care and treatment services, and to improve attitudes and knowledge about HIV among youth and adults in the selected communities