Pursuing epidemic control with Beach Wellness Days

Monday, August 27, 2018

Beach Wellness Days Take HIV Testing, Counseling, and Treatment to Hard-to-Reach Populations

The GoM has set the ambitious goal of achieving HIV epidemic control by reaching the 90-90-90 mark: 90 percent of people with HIV know their status; 90 percent of people with HIV are on antiretroviral treatment (ART); 90 percent of people on ART have viral suppression. One of the impediments to achieving this goal is finding, testing, and treating high-risk, hard-to-reach populations, such as fishers and bike taxi drivers.

To bring services to these populations, USAID uses an integrated approach that leverages the different strengths of multiple implementing partners, most notably through Beach Wellness Days. In Mangochi District, which has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in Malawi at 10.1 percent, the Beach Wellness Day begins at 6:00 a.m. and runs until 6:00 p.m. Four USAID implementing partners work together to mobilize, counsel, test (HIV and TB), refer, and follow-up with fishers, while also spreading important public awareness and prevention messages to families and community members. There are more than 17,000 fishers in Mangochi District, and USAID has set a target to reach 75 percent of them through these Beach Wellness Days among others. As of the end of the second quarter of 2018, they are seeing a 7.57 percent HIV positive yield rate among those tested, which serves as a powerful reminder of how important it is to bring such service to those who might otherwise never receive them.

USAID and PEPFAR's approach to pursuing HIV epidemic control is transforming lives and supporting the development of healthy, self-reliant Malawian people.

Last updated: September 12, 2019

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