Increasing access to HIV services

Project highlights
  • The goal of SOSUCCA’s project was to increase the proportion of at-risk men, adolescent girls and young women and pregnant and breastfeeding women who know their HIV status.
  • Over 2,900 individuals were tested over the project period. Of those who tested positive, over 250 enrolled in treatment and were supported by SOSUCCA in adhering to treatment.

Addressing the disrupted HIV response in South Sudan: prevention, care, treatment and retention services in Mundri West County, South Sudan

Due to persistent conflict in South Sudan with the resulting human displacement and service disruptions, people’s vulnerability to HIV is extremely high.

Out of the over 200,000 people estimated to be living with HIV, a majority do not know their HIV status while only 18% are on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Most of the people living with HIV on treatment are women while men and children constitute just a small proportion.

Expanding access to HIV prevention, care and treatment is a large part of South Sudan Community Change Agency (SOSUCCA)'s mandate. Since its inception in 2009, SOSUCCA has trained 250 peer educators on HIV awareness, tested over 10,000 individuals for HIV, enrolled 2,500 individuals on treatment and distributed nearly 3 million condoms. Their efforts also include community sensitization, awareness raising and stigma reduction.

In 2022, the organization began a yearlong project financed by Madiro. SOSUCCA's project increases access to facility- and community-based HIV related services. This is done via targeted testing, organizing community referral systems, and creating community antiretroviral therapy (ART) refill groups. SOSUCCA also aims to improve retention and reduce interruptions in treatment by offering SMS appointment reminders, facilitating support groups and empowering mothers by training them to become mentors in the community.

By the end of the project, SOSUCCA has:

  • Tested over 2,900 individuals for HIV
  • Enrolled over 250 newly diagnosed individuals in HIV treatment
  • Addressed stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV with its community
  • Facilitated support groups for people living with HIV
  • Trained mentor mothers to provide additional support to the community

SOSUCCA was awarded a $75,000 grant for this project, as a part of Madiro's call for proposals in 2021 and in collaboration with The Gillian and Adrian Schauer Foundation and the King Baudouin Foundation Canada.

*Source: UNAIDS, Country Progress Report - South Sudan, 2020

Testimonial from one of SOSUCCA's beneficiaries

"My name is Bismark Sabah, I am 20 years old. I work as boda-boda rider (Motorcycle rider). Since I was born, I had never tested for HIV due to much fear in me. But when the SOSUCCA team came to our stage and convinced me to test for HIV, I managed to test and my result came out positive. Before that I could felt sick regularly not knowing it was HIV. After that I was enrolled on treatment and started taking my ARVs daily and the sickness which used to disturb me all the time has reduced. I am looking very healthy and happy because of the ARV drugs now."

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