Amount: £90 000.00
Duration: 36 months
Prevention Information Lutte contre le SIDA (PILS) is facilitating access to HIV health services for People Who Use Drugs (PWUDs) by promoting a better understanding of drug policies which can be used as a means of preventing HIV transmission among PWUDs and contribute to a reduction in HIV prevalence in general.
The prevalence of HIV amongst the adult population in Mauritius is estimated at 0.9 per cent, approximately 9,200 people, a large proportion of HIV transmissions were due to the sharing of contaminated needles. By 2014 this percentage had reduced from 68 per cent to 31 per cent thanks to successful harm reduction programmes. However, amongst new cases detected in 2015, there has been an increase in the prevalence rate of people who use drugs.
PILS is engaging in dialogue with policy and decision makers including members of parliament, prison officers, police departments and religious leaders to advocate for changes to legislation and policies on drug use and HIV that can better contribute to reducing HIV transmission and prevalence. They are also raising communities’ awareness of drug policies and their impact among on People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV), at risk populations, and village councillors by organising and training a group of Community Health Advocates (CHAs) to lead awareness raising activities in their communities.
By the end of the project, it is estimated that over 7,000 people in the communities would have been reached by CHAs and that CHAs will have the necessary knowledge and expertise to continue to raise awareness among their communities once the project ends. It is also expected that by the end of the project a greater awareness about drug and HIV policies, and how they can be used to contribute to the reduction of HIV transmission and prevalence would have been generated. In addition, the project is likely to influence discussions on policy and legislation change on HIV and drug use during its duration.
PILS is the leading organisation working on HIV in Mauritius. It works in close collaboration with six national NGOs, reaching out to all relevant key affected populations. The main areas of work of the organisation are: provision of health care through its own health clinic; awareness raising on HIV prevention with most at risk populations; advocacy on HIV prevention with various stakeholders and capacity building of local and regional NGOs which work with key affected populations. It has been the civil society principal recipient for the Global Fund since 2012.