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USAID and IOM Announce HIV Prevention and Care for Farm Workers
Date:3/11/2009

PRETORIA, South Africa, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Southern Africa launched a new program to reduce HIV vulnerability of farm workers in South Africa's Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces.

The three-year, $5.1 million project is funded by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and administered by USAID. A recent release study by the IOM, identified high levels of unsafe sexual behaviour among farm workers -- including extremely low condom use in casual sex and high levels of multiple, concurrent sexual partners. This report guided the development of an HIV prevention outreach effort to reach the high risk farm worker population.

The project will be known as "Ripfumelo," which means "believe" in xiTsonga. It will target 20,000 seasonal, temporary, and permanent farm workers in South Africa, including documented and undocumented migrant workers through increasing the technical capacity of its implementing partners: Agri-IQ, CHOiCE and the Hoedspruit Training Trust. This increased capacity will lead to the provision of sustainable HIV prevention and care services to farm workers.

"One prevention program doesn't fit all people's needs. Farm workers face higher risks of getting and spreading HIV than many other groups. Our prevention efforts tackle their vulnerabilities, including alcohol abuse, that arise from many factors related to poverty and the transitional lifestyle of migrant workers," said USAID Southern Africa Director Dr. Carleene Dei.

The project will develop a network of stakeholders working specifically on HIV-related issues to reduce the high incidence and impact of AIDS on farm workers, their families and their communities. Partnerships are encouraged among local, provincial, and national government agencies, as well as between pub
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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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