Under national strategies and in partnership with host nations, PEPFAR focuses special attention on the prevention, treatment, and care needs of families impacted by HIV/AIDS. Efforts are directed not just at those who may be infected, but at the entire family - helping to keep families intact.
In Cote d'Ivoire's port city of San Pedro, IRIS is a network of integrated health and social services that is a model of an effective district-level response to HIV/AIDS. Developed with PEPFAR support, the network revolves around a community social center, with an affiliated coordinating committee designed to link health and social services for families affected by HIV/AIDS. Services include HIV counseling and testing, prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, antiretroviral treatment, palliative care, treatment for tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections, and care for orphans and vulnerable children.
In 2006, Maguy Theodore (Theo) and his family found hope through IRIS. Theo, who is HIV-positive, was given a new lease on life, thanks to antiretroviral treatment offered through IRIS. "I thought I would die, but with the [antiretroviral] treatments I received, it was as if I was resuscitated," the 50-year-old father of five said. "I couldn't keep that for myself alone..." Theo now promotes HIV testing and support for people living with HIV/AIDS through his church and a small non-governmental organization.
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