The purpose of the community HIV and AIDS project 2011-2013 is to contribute to the reduction of vulnerability to HIV and its impact by preventing further HIV infections, by expanding treatment, care and support to orphans and vulnerable children, by reducing stigma and discrimination of the people affected by HIV, and by strengthening the capacity in order to enable more effective, direct outreach to served communities in Manicaland Province. HIV / AIDS is the leading cause of death among mothers and infants, accounting for over 27% of all deaths in Zimbabwe. Tuberculosis is also a major public health problem and it has an incidence rate of all cases of 1 136/ 100 000. The large number of deaths has left a large number of orphans and vulnerable children. It is estimated that 25% of all children in Zimbabwe have lost one or both parents to AIDS and related causes. Manicaland Province is one of the HIV and AIDS high burden-areas. The province has the second highest HIV burden in Zimbabwe. Buhera is a high food insecurity zone accounting for 19% of the food insecure population. Due to this poor food security situation, vulnerabilities within the district have increased including risk of HIV transmission. In the Mutare district, due to increased mining activities, there is increased movement of many young people searching for employment opportunities. The population movement has triggered sex work among young girls.
Zimbabwe Red Cross will provide educational support, psychosocial support and medical care to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), which will also benefit their families. The project will also contribute to the reduction of the HIV incidence by implementing prevention activities through peer education and community mobilization. Furthermore, voluntary counselling and testing, as well as the prevention of mother to child transmission will be promoted, through referral of sensitised clients, as well as sensitisation and mobilisation activities.
Annually, the project targets 250 000 people between the ages of 10-49 with HIV prevention, 480 people living with HIV, and 1 200 orphans and vulnerable children in three target communities. The project will also benefit the entire population in the three communities, which adds up to a total of 399 797 people, of whom 194 267 are male and 205 530 female, and 176 208 are young people aged 10-24 years.