Link Worker Scheme: 2010 – 2014

In Partnership with National AIDS Control Organization & Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society
Funding Support from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Background

  • VHS was selected by NACO as lead management agency for implementing Link Worker Scheme through MOU with TANSACS, supported by GFATM

  • Link Worker Scheme is a rural community based intervention that addresses HIV prevention, care and support needs of high risk groups and vulnerable populations living in high prevalence districts

  • Implemented in 21 high prevalence and vulnerable districts of Tamil Nadu aimed at halting the spread of HIV in rural areas, in close collaboration with TANSACS, and engaging 21 Non-Government Organizations as implementing partners at district level

  • On completion of project period, all 21 NGOs were transitioned to TANSACS through a systematic and transparent process for ensuring ownership and continuity of the program

  • LWS program built the capacity of rural communities in addressing STI/HIV/AIDS, engaged a highly motivated and trained village based work force comprising Supervisors, Link Workers and Volunteers and improved their understanding on STI / HIV / AIDS, gender and sexuality

  • High risk groups and vulnerable populations were sensitized to access HIV/AIDS related services and information and avail government social welfare schemes

Focus Areas

  • Creating awareness among targeted rural populations through correct and comprehensive information on STI/HIV/AIDS

  • Increasing availability, accessibility and use of condoms

  • Generating demand for screening and treatment of HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections, TB

  • Increasing uptake of HIV and STI clinical services by establishing linkages with service facilities, strengthening the referral mechanism and making regular follow-ups

  • Engaging in advocacy for reducing stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV

  • Linking high risk and vulnerable populations with government social protection schemes

Key Results

  • Systematically scaled-up to cover 2,175 vulnerable villages across 21 high prevalence districts

  • Reached out to 24,000 people from high risk groups, 1.3 lakh bridge population, 1.2 lakh vulnerable population and 7,800 people living with HIV

  • Trained 840 Link Workers and more than 35,000 Volunteers

  • Established more than 3,000 Village Information Centers

  • Formed more than 2,100 Village Health Committees

  • Operationalized nearly 2,800 Red Ribbon Clubs