SAATHII’s engages in comprehensive approach to amplify access to quality HIV/AIDS services and influencing policy level changes to promote strengthening the public health systems in India;
Increasing Access to Care, Support and Treatment Services
Through family centered and integrated care programs, partnership with government, decentralization, and innovative treatment literacy material, SAATHII strengthened and enabled greater uptake of care, support, and treatment services:
- Family centered care and support program in Andhra Pradesh has provided comprehensive family centered care, support and treatment services to 1800 families in Andhra Pradesh.
- Clinical mentorship visits in collaboration with government strengthened pediatric HIV clinical practices care in Manipur state.
- A public private partnership in Tamil Nadu to integrate STI prevention and treatment services as part of routine medical care trained 134 doctors and 180 paramedical staff on clinical management of HIV/STIs and provided STI treatment to 3873 members of most at risk populations.
- SAATHII created HIV treatment literacy material for MSM and MTF transgender populations to enhance access to accurate information for these populations and also to train peer educators and health care providers.
Increasing Access to Prevention of Parent-to-Child Transmission (PPPTCT) Services
SAATHII has been instrumental in establishing and strengthening PPTCT services throughout India.
- The country consortium office provided technical and programmatic assistance to seven implementing partners of four states to serve more than 2 lakh (0.2 million) pregnant women at over 250 sites with PPTCT services, including the provision of combination ARV regimens.
- Public-private partnerships to establish NACO-certified Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (ICTCs) in over 296 private sector hospitals across three high prevalence states to serve over 1,20,000 pregnant women; and
- Capacity building of around 75 frontline workers in Manipur and reached more than 1000 pregnant women with PPTCT services through community testing
Engaging, Strengthening and Empowering Vulnerable Groups
SAATHII programs across India engage community systems to empower MSM, male-to-female (MTF) transgender, Hijra and PLHIV community members to uptake HIV, sexual and reproductive health, and livelihood services. SAATHII’s initiatives worked towards structural changes among these key populations by:
- Integrating organizational development, livelihood, adult education, health and social security support as part of the routine HIV prevention, care, support, and treatment programs.
- Building the capacity of community groups supporting men who have sex with men (MSM) and TG communities across eight states on community mobilization, support groups formation and developing linkages with NACP-III. Additionally, a pilot to the GFATM Round 9 project strengthened MSM/TG/Hijra community systems and has revived and capacitated MSM/TG/Hijra CBOs across Manipur and Orissa, reaching over 1800 MSM/TG/Hijra populations with sexual health related services.
- Strengthening of community systems that benefit men who have sex with men (MSM), Hijras and male-to-female transgender (TG) people in India and enable them to access key SRH and HIV services in four states of north east India through Project Pehchan (‘Identity’)
- Empowering sexual minorities and PLHIV in Orissa and West Bengal to know, to promote and exact their rights to life and health. Coalition based advocacy efforts located in West Bengal and Orissa have formed networks of 34 civil society organizations (West Bengal) and 26 civil society organizations (Orissa) serving sexual minorities and PLHIV and assisted them on organizational development, resource mobilization, and advocacy skills. These networks are among the few multi-stake holder coalitions advocating for both sexual and reproductive health and HIV issues together, and is unique in bringing together sexual minorities and PLHIV.
- Empowering women affected and infected by HIV to claim their property rights by working with the Positive Women’s Network in 8 states.
Mainstreaming of HIV
Mainstreaming programs partnered with government to mainstream HIV as part of health and development programs in Rajastan and Andhra Pradesh. SAATHII collaborated with the Rajastan State AIDS Control Society to train thousands of government officials, community based organisation (CBO) personnel, and Anganwadi workers towards mainstreaming HIV in the business sector, civil society, and government ministries. In Andhra Pradesh, SAATHII has trained over 2700 functionaries, including Project Directors, Child Development Project Officers, Supervisors and Anganwadi workers to mainstream HIV/AIDS services into the Women Child Development Department.
SAATHII provided technical assistance for policy and strategy development both at the state and national level in the areas of sexual minorities, women and children, nutrition, care and support, PPTCT, operational research, prevention among high risk groups and monitoring. Coalition based advocacy efforts facilitate multi-stake holder policy advocacy regarding HIV and sexual and reproductive health issues. Additionally, SAATHII is enhancing civil society engagement through its election to the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the GFATM, and is increasing Asia-Pacific visibility as a governing council member of the International AIDS Society.
SAATHII conducted DFID-TAST-NACO Study on strengthening interventions for MSM & their partners. National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), as part of expanding the services for MSM and their partners, has identified three areas in which interventions need to be strengthened. These are: hard-to-reach MSM; female partners of MSM; and sexual violence faced by MSM. Research consultants of TAST (Technical Assistance Support Team) did a study for identifying strategies and recommendations to reach out some proportion of MSM who are hard-to-reach; to prevent HIV transmission to female partners of MSM and link them with services; and to prevent sexual violence and provide necessary services for MSM who faced sexual violence. This research was funded by the TAST and Department for International Development (DFID) – United Kingdom.
The study was conducted in eleven sites in India. Souvik Ghosh of SAATHII, Kolkata Office was associated as one of the field researchers and conducted the study in Bhubaneswar (Odisha).
The study was conducted from September 2010 to January 2011. 6 (Six) Focus Group Discussions were conducted with 22 MSM beneficiaries, 12 staff members from the MSM targeted intervention and other MSM specific project implementing agencies. Respondents were aged between 22 to 62 years. Identified FGD respondents were semi urban and labourer by profession. Social workers, students, dancers, businessman, service holders were also there as respondents in the FGDs. Many of the respondents were from poor socio-economic background. Most of them are semi literate. Few of them completed school final and also graduation. Low self-esteem, fear of disclosure, lack of trust on government health services, lack of proper knowledge make them vulnerable towards HIV/AIDS. Many of the respondents were married also.
5 (five) Key Informant’s Interviews was conducted with renowned personal mentioned below;
- Mr. Satya Sundar Mishra (MSM, TG, Hijra CBO leader and an activist),
- Ms. Smita Jagdev (Joint Director, TI, OSACS),
- Ms. Prayadarshini Mohanty (Programme Officer, Orissa TSU),
- Dr. Mitali Mohanty (City Office Director of SAATHII and Project Manager of Orissa STRC),
- Dr. Managobinda Srichandan (Skin and VD Specialist, Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar)
All FGD and interview documents were prepared in English and Oriya, both languages. An overall study report and all support documents were handed over to TAST.
Developing and Disseminating Innovative Educational Materials:
SAATHII has developed patient and provider educations tools in different languages, including fact sheets and manuals on clinical management of HIV/STIs, delivery of PPTCT services, management of support groups and family centered care, support and treatment services.