With educational sessions in rural communities throughout Africa, South Asia and Latin America, The Hunger Project (THP) raises awareness about HIV/AIDS and empowers people to overcome the negative stigma/discrimination around it. As a result, people from rural communities are more confident to undergo voluntary counselling and testing (VCT). Our HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality Workshops empower grassroots people to transform the conditions that have perpetuated HIV/AIDS. To date, more than 1.3 million people have attended these workshops.
A vital tool in stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS is the female condom. The female condom is the only female-controlled measure that is proven to be effective in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This gives women greater power in negotiating for safe sex and for protecting their own health. Demand for female condoms far outstrips supply around the world. Despite its effectiveness, widespread distribution of female condoms has been hampered by a persistent myth that people do not want to use them.
Since 2004, the Hunger Project Malawi has distributed female condoms from health clinics in the epicentres, and conducts community sensitisation sessions to educate partners on female condom use. This initiative was driven entirely by the community in response to calls by female epicentre partners for greater control over their own sexual health. This has now grown to influence national sexual health policies in Malawi. THP-Malawi’s HIV & AIDS programme has continued to prove that “it is rather how the project is implemented than necessarily that poor rural people can not accept female condom use”.