The purpose of this HIV and AIDS Programme is to increase resilience of families and communities to HIV and its impact in three targeted areas in Malawi, to increase adoption of gender sensitive safer sexual practices, to increase social inclusion and acceptance of women, of people living with HIV, and of orphans and vulnerable children, and to support the Malawi Red Cross Society in planning, implementing, and managing community outreach programmes. Malawi is experiencing a severe HIV epidemic. Since 1985 when the first AIDS case was diagnosed, HIV prevalence has increased significantly and among persons aged 15-49, it rose to 16.2% in 1999, before declining and stabilizing at around 11.8% 2005. In 2009 the HIV prevalence among the whole population was 10.6%. There are 1 million Malawians living with HIV, including 100 000 children under 15 years. Nearly 75% of HIV infections are acquired through unprotected heterosexual intercourse, and almost 25% of new infections are children born to HIV-positive mothers. The project in Malawi is implemented in three Traditional Authorities of Chiseka in Lilongwe, in Chiwere in Dowa, and in Mwansambo in Nkhotakota. HIV infection is more prevalent in urban populations, and in the Southern Region. Because of the much larger rural population however, 78% of HIV-positive individuals live in rural areas and 69% in the Southern region of the country.
Malawi Red Cross will use this family and community based approach to empower families and communities to solve their own problems. This people centered approach requires investing in important areas, namely: prevention, advocacy, and support for most at risk-populations, social participation, psychosocial support, education, livelihoods, food security and income, health care.
Annually, the Integrated 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.