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    Friday, 10 May 2019

    Prevent violence against women which has a connection to HIV and AIDS

    Sexual violence, one form of gender based violence (GBV) remains a challenge in addressing HIV infections. Some of the abused survivors do not access PEP services within the expected time. More than half (133) of the sexually abused clients from the National AIDS Council-Masvingo (NAC) 2019 Monitoring and Evaluation database did not report sexual abuse within 72 hours. NAC in collaboration with other stakeholders   is therefore promoting the SASA model and Protocol on the multisectoral management of sexual abuse and violence through awareness campaigns in the community for demand generation of health services. SAS is a Kiswahili word that means now. During the first quarter of 2019 there were missed opportunities for sexually abused clients (76) and those who received HIV testing. Sexually abused clients should be encouraged to get HIV testing to prevent new HIV infections. Positivity rate for sexually abused clients tested HIV positive increased from 6% during the fourth quarter 2018 to 7% in the first quarter 2019.

    The protection of children and adults from sexual violence and abuse is a responsibility that all individuals, groups and organisations must share. The Protocol promotes a coordinated and integrated approach to sexual violence and abuse. The Protocol on the multisectoral management of sexual abuse and violence reinforces this responsibility by outlining the principles that guide responses to sexual violence and abuse and sets out the roles and responsibilities of children and adults, professionals, communities and organisations involved. The Protocol will ensure that the necessary action is taken and referrals are made where survivors have experienced physical and emotional abuse.

    The Protocol outlines steps or actions and time frames that must be completed at each stage of providing services to survivors of sexual violence and abuse from prevention to referral to response.

    o    Medication (72 hours)-Health Institution
    o    Case Reporting (48 hours)
    o    Docket Preparation for court (14 days)-Police
    o    Probation Officers reporting (7 days)
    o    Pre-trial psychosocial support (7days)
    o    Trial (3 days)
    o    Post-trial support (on-going-Social Services, NGOs inter-alia)

    NAC recommends mainstreaming SASA! in HIV programming.
    - Now is the time to prevent violence against women and its connection to HIV and AIDS and everyone has the power to act. This is a groundbreaking community mobilization approach developed by Raising Voices for preventing violence against women and HIV. The approach is uniquely designed to address the imbalance of power between women and men, girls and boys - a core driver of violence against women and HIV. SASA! Inspires and enables communities to rethink and reshape social norms.
    o    Start thinking about violence against women and HIV and AIDS as interconnected issues and the need to personally address these issues (Power Within)
    o    Raise Awareness about communities’ acceptance of men’s use of power over women, which fuels HIV and AIDS and violence against women (Power Over)
    o    Support women and men directly affected by or involved in these issues to change (Power With)
    o    Take Action to prevent HIV and AIDS and violence against women (Power to)

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