Tunakuthamini (We Value You) HIV Care and Treatment Campaign
Household surveys estimate the seroprevalence in adults aged 15-49 years in Tanzania at 5.1%, with a wide variation among regions. Anti retroviral therapy (ART) is a prevention strategy against new HIV infections and a treatment strategy for reducing AIDS-related morbidity and mortality. Near perfect adherence is required for efficacious and economically feasible treatment, which has been a significant challenge in Tanzania. Clients are often lost to follow-up, and overburdened health systems have difficulty in tracing defaulters. Children are particularly vulnerable, and require a committed treatment supporter and social support for both psychological well-being and adherence to treatment.
In support of Tanzania's efforts to make sure there is optimal adherence to treatment and retention to treatment appointments, the Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project (TCCP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and treatment partners sought to design a campaign with the goal of contributing to the national target of 90% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) on ART virally suppressed by the end of 2017 by increasing the proportion of adult and pediatric ART clients retained in care and treatment and adherent to ART and appointments.
Many HIV treatment initiatives that have been developed in Tanzania target people living with HIV (PLHIV). TheTunakuthamini campaign is unique in that it takes a social networks approach to encourage support for those who are living with HIV. The campaign draws attention to love and appreciation and the strength of the bond between PLHIV and their supporters. In doing so, it also significantly expands the target audience, moving it from the 5.1% of people who are living with HIV, to the much larger proportion of individuals who know someone living with HIV. Whereas HIV treatment SBCC interventions typically utilize print materials and community education as their primary communication channels, the intensive mass media side of Tunakuthamini has the potential to dramatically increase reach and create an unprecedented shift in current norms related to HIV treatment, adherence, stigma, and support.
The HIV Treatment Task Force included:
- National AIDS Control Program (NACP)
- Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS)
- Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project (TCCP)
- Ariel Glaser Pediatric AIDS Healthcare Initiative (AGPAHI)
- Association of Journalists Against AIDS in Tanzania (AJAAT)
- Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
- Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC)
- Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)
- Henry F. Jackson Foundation (HJF)
- International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH)
- Maryland Global Initiatives Tanzania (MGIT)
- National Council for People Living with HIV and AIDS (NACOPHA)
- Tanzania Food and Nutrition Center (TFNC)
- Tanzania Health Promotion Support (THPS)
- Tanzania Marketing and Communications (T-MARC)
- Tanzania Youth Alliance (TAYOA)