Targeted Intervention Programme- Tiruchirapalli

Targeted Intervention of HIV/AIDS Prevention Programme among Core Group Population, in Selected Seven Blocks of Tiruchirapalli District Supported by Tamilnadu State AIDS Control Society (TNSACS, Chennai) This Project has been implemented by PDI in selected seven blocks of Tiruchirapalli District, Since Jan. 2009 which is supported by AIDS Prevention and Control Project (APAC) of Voluntary Health Services (VHS). The support provided by APAC VHS USAID has come to an end by October 2011. The project has been transitioned to Tamilnadu State AIDS Control Society (TNSACS), as agreed by APAC VHS USAID with NACO from November 2011. The Target Population of the Project are 1254 Female Sex Workers (FSWs) and 549 Male Sex Workers (MSMs) who hail from the selected seven blocks including Uppiliyapuram, Thuraiyur, Thottiyam, Thathayngarpettai, Musiri, Manachanallur, and Pullambadi. The Major objective of this project is to educate and bring behavior change among the core group population towards safe sex practice and to seek early treatment for STIs and also to reduce the number of sexual partners. The Project team consists of One Project Manager, One Monitoring & Evaluation Officer, One Counselor, One Project Physician, and Seven Outreach Workers. The project has identified and capacitated Twenty Eight Peer Educators. Peer Educators in this project are the change-agents of their own peers, particularly changing the unsafe behaviour of key population into safer behaviour. The peer educators are being selected by the peers themselves with the guidance of staff team. Peer Educator play a vital role in outreaching the activities. Block Level, Drop in Centre Level and the project Level review meetings were regularly conducted by the project team to review their activities and to motivate them for further strengthening of the activities.

The Project Team takes efforts to refer every member of core group population to undergo HIV test to know their status. In each block, there is one ICTC (Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre) attached to the Primary Health Centre and the staff team, established good rapport with them. Peer Educators do motivate their own peers to undergo the test at ICTC, once in every six months. Likewise, the project refers the community members to undergo regular medical check-ups for once in three months. The Behaviour Change Communication activities aims at bringing behaviour change among the key population towards treatment seeking behaviour for their STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). The community members access both the Project Owned Clinic and the Government Centres for their Regular Medical Check Ups. Condom promotion is another important strategy ensuring the safe sex practice among the core group. The core group members have been insisted on the need for correct and consistent usage of condoms during the interpersonal communication and group sessions.

The project takes efforts to mobilize the community of core group members to take up the programme on their own to sustain the programme activities, even after the withdrawal of the project activities. Community mobilization is being done to make the programme sustainable. The project has mobilized the community and formed two community based organizations, namely, Velicham Trust for female sex workers and Sesa Trust for MSM community.