Zambia: Providing AIDS care

MSF is working in Kapiri, a town in Central province, approximately 200 kilometers north of the capital, Lusaka, where the rate of HIV among people aged 15 to 49 is estimated to be 37 percent. From a rehabilitated clinic near the rural hospital of Kapiri town, MSF cares for more than 1,250 patients living with HIV/AIDS.

In collaboration with the Zambian Red Cross, MSF also offers high-energy food to those patients who need it. As of March 2005, approximately 50 new patients each month have started life-extending antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, for a total of 354 people currently receiving ARVs through MSF. In June 2005, MSF also began to provide voluntary counseling and HIV testing, treatment of opportunistic infections and laboratory services.

Since 2002, MSF has run an integrated HIV/AIDS care project in the Nchelenge district of Luapula province in northeastern Zambia. This program includes voluntary counseling and testing, follow-up counseling, care and treatment of opportunistic infections, nutritional support, home-based care and treatment with ARVs.

By the end of July 2005, 330 patients were receiving ARVs, with approximately 40 new patients entering the program each month. MSF aims to treat 500 to 600 people with ARVs in Nchelenge by the end of 2005. MSF staff also run a program to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Nchelenge, in which 45 women are participating.

The MSF team also facilitates support groups for patients and their loved ones, and carries out awareness-raising activities in communities using local counselors and educators.

MSF has worked in Zambia since 1999.