Tamil Nadu AIDS Initiative: 2004 – 2014

In Partnership with National AIDS Control Organization and Tamil Nadu & Odisha State AIDS Control Societies

Funding Support from Avahan India AIDS Initiative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Background

  • TAI program was built around mobilizing marginalized communities and creating demand for STI/HIV services

  • TAI facilitated comprehensive capacity building programs for CBO governing board members, management and staff of NGOs/CBOs and health care providers

  • Innovative dialogue based behavior change communication using multimedia focusing on high risk behaviors were conceptualized and introduced

  • Strategies formulated and activities implemented were designed to sustain safer sexual practices and improved quality of life for the marginalized community

Goal

  • Reduce the spread of STIs and HIV infection among high risk groups and their clients in Tamil Nadu

Objectives

  • Consolidate HIV/AIDS prevention impact among FSWs and MSMs

  • Build the skills and capacities of CBOs and NGOs to sustain the quality of the program post transition

  • Build strong collaborations with the Government and key stakeholders to ensure smooth transfer of the program

  • Create a knowledge base for scaled HIV prevention and document and disseminate the lessons learned

  • Sustain the HIV impact through social protection programs

Strategies

  • Social mobilization

  • Collectivization of key populations

  • Increasing access to stigma free services

  • Creating an enabling socio-economic environment

  • Empowering the community

  • Building social capital

Key Achievements

  • Sensitization programs, awareness campaigns and advocacy efforts were undertaken with elected representatives, government officials, police officers, lawyers, service providers, media, community leaders and faith based organizations brought attention to the issues faced by the marginalized community, influenced policy level changes and mainstreamed the response to HIV

  • TAI program advocated with the government for extending adequate social protections for key populations to reduce their vulnerability to HIV and address livelihood needs of the marginalized community.

  • Sustained and combined efforts of government, civil society organizations and communities for more than a decade have contributed to declines in HIV prevalence and STI syndromes in Tamil Nadu

  • Facilitated the formation of 25 Community Based Organizations (CBOs) for HIV/AIDS prevention and control and strengthened the CBO movement in Tamil Nadu.

  • Partnering with 25 Non-Government and Community Based Organizations (NGOs/CBOs) and two Clinic Management Agencies, TAI program reached 35,000 Female Sex Workers (FSWs) and 15,000 Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), including Transgenders, Kothis and Double-Deckers, in 13 high HIV prevalence districts of Tamil Nadu.

  • Established an effective crisis response management system involving CBO board members, community field staff and advocates to promptly address violence faced by key populations.

  • Collaborated with NACO and Odisha SACS to set up four Learning Sites among selected NGOs implementing Targeted Intervention program, built capacity of staff and community and facilitated adoption and dissemination of TAI best practices.