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On World AIDS Day, CHF International Calls for Community Mobilization and Local Capacity Building to Fight HIV/AIDS
Date:11/30/2007

SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On World AIDS Day 2007, CHF International is honoring the struggle of the 33.2 million people around the world living with HIV/AIDS, but calls for greater international support of grassroots, community-based efforts to fight the disease.

For more than two decades, international assistance has made a marked impact in helping to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS. Increased access to treatment means that more people are able to treat their infections as a chronic illness, while many national governments and their formal medical infrastructures are better prepared to respond to HIV and its socioeconomic impacts.

At the same time, there is also a growing divide between community-based and traditional health care mechanisms, with clinical health services often inaccessible to the rural poor, and under-resourced community-based providers lacking the technical and organizational capacity to provide comprehensive care and sustain their services.

Understanding this dichotomy, CHF International's programs are continuing to help communities in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond access available health services, combat stigma, and build the technical and organizational capacity of frontline providers to provide comprehensive services.

CHF's Local Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS (LPATH) program has been working in Kenya since 2004 to change that paradigm. Funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, LPATH has been building over 30 community-based organizations' technical and organizational capacity and information sharing and referral mechanisms. Since inception, LPATH has improved service provision for nearly 300,000 Kenyans in HIV prevention, voluntary counseling and testing for over 100,000, and 20,000 for palliative care or antiretroviral treatment.

In Rwanda, CHF's four-year Community HIV/AIDS Mobi
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