HIV-positive people living in war zones under the control of the New Forces in Côte d’Ivoire often face challenges when trying to access HIV/AIDS treatment. However, a recently launched partnership in the Northern and Western parts of Côte d’Ivoire is providing much-needed HIV/AIDS interventions in these war-torn regions. Supported by PEPFAR, the program is restoring health care services devastated by the country’s four-year civil war.
This program, which is the second of its kind, provides HIV/AIDS services to hundreds of villages and towns located in the country’s war-torn regions. Designed and implemented with PEPFAR support, the project was launched in Bouake on August 25, 2006, by U.S. Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Aubrey Hooks and Miss Côte d’Ivoire, Alima Diomandé.
To launch the program, Ambassador Hooks and Miss Côte d’Ivoire led a kilometer march with more than 300 Boauke residents to an HIV/AIDS testing center, where they were publicly tested for HIV. It sent a powerful message across the country about the importance of knowing one’s HIV status.
The program has engaged peer educators and supports campaigns aimed at preventing new infections, treating and caring for those living with HIV, and offering care for orphans and vulnerable children affected by the epidemic.