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  • Organisation

    ARV Users Association (AUA) is a community-based organization that were formed by a group of people living with HIV with 86% of AUA#s current staff live with HIV, 60% of their management team are women, and many staff come from ethnic backgrounds. Since register with MoI in 2003, AUA plays an important role in coordinating different stakeholder groups where they bring together government and civil society representatives, service providers and community members to advocate for human rights and access to quality healthcare. AUA builds capacity and leadership within the community by training and employing People Living with HIV (PLHIV). This is unique among HIV/AIDS organizations in Cambodia in that our staff works directly alongside healthcare providers. AUA#s triage teams support patient reception, case management, referrals, and partner tracing and testing, while our counselors and group organizers offer targeted social support that focuses on treatment adherence and positive prevention. AUA also provides financial and in-kind support forgreatest-need patients. AUA’s vision is to see Cambodian people, especially those People Living with HIV/AIDS have full access to Universal Rights Dignity and Peace. AUA’s mission is to empower people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly those receiving ART, to understand their illness, treatment and right to quality care; and to confront the challenges in their lives.

    • Organisation

      ARV Users Association (AUA) is a community-based organization that were formed by a group of people living with HIV with 86% of AUA#s current staff live with HIV, 60% of their management team are women, and many staff come from ethnic backgrounds. Since register with MoI in 2003, AUA plays an important role in coordinating different stakeholder groups where they bring together government and civil society representatives, service providers and community members to advocate for human rights and access to quality healthcare. AUA builds capacity and leadership within the community by training and employing People Living with HIV (PLHIV). This is unique among HIV/AIDS organizations in Cambodia in that our staff works directly alongside healthcare providers. AUA#s triage teams support patient reception, case management, referrals, and partner tracing and testing, while our counselors and group organizers offer targeted social support that focuses on treatment adherence and positive prevention. AUA also provides financial and in-kind support forgreatest-need patients. AUA’s vision is to see Cambodian people, especially those People Living with HIV/AIDS have full access to Universal Rights Dignity and Peace. AUA’s mission is to empower people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly those receiving ART, to understand their illness, treatment and right to quality care; and to confront the challenges in their lives.

    • Project

      “Our voice, our community” is the continuation project working with people living with HIV (PLHIV) through forming of an inclusive self-help group including women, youth, elderly, people with disabilities, sex and entertainment workers, and LGBTQI. In this phase,this project aim to strengthening the influencing capacity and knowledge of the inclusive self-help groups to have ownership of this group. It’s intend to support them challenges issues by their own, improve their confident to speak up, be open and able to advocate for their need and issues to be addressed. In order to achieved this, AUA has proposed a 24 month project duration with intervention approaches as below: Key expectation 1: Inclusive SHG from 4 target areas have increased knowledge and capacity on advocacy skills and able to lead define their long-term goal for sustainability of their group. Key expectation 2: The inclusive SHGs have capacity to share knowledge to their members, strengthening their group through mobilize meetingand reflection. Key expectation 3: Conduct influencing advocacy, lobbying, and mobilizing resources in order to promote their voices and visibility without discrimination through community campaign and social media. Key expectation 4: Peer to peers intervention support and counselling on domestic violence through innovative referral system. Key expectation 5: Conduct reflection learning, documentation and publication as the role model group of PLHIV. This project is expected to cover 4 different community in Banteay Meanchey and Ratanakiri provinces.

  • Project

    “Our voice, our community” is the continuation project working with people living with HIV (PLHIV) through forming of an inclusive self-help group including women, youth, elderly, people with disabilities, sex and entertainment workers, and LGBTQI. In this phase,this project aim to strengthening the influencing capacity and knowledge of the inclusive self-help groups to have ownership of this group. It’s intend to support them challenges issues by their own, improve their confident to speak up, be open and able to advocate for their need and issues to be addressed. In order to achieved this, AUA has proposed a 24 month project duration with intervention approaches as below: Key expectation 1: Inclusive SHG from 4 target areas have increased knowledge and capacity on advocacy skills and able to lead define their long-term goal for sustainability of their group. Key expectation 2: The inclusive SHGs have capacity to share knowledge to their members, strengthening their group through mobilize meetingand reflection. Key expectation 3: Conduct influencing advocacy, lobbying, and mobilizing resources in order to promote their voices and visibility without discrimination through community campaign and social media. Key expectation 4: Peer to peers intervention support and counselling on domestic violence through innovative referral system. Key expectation 5: Conduct reflection learning, documentation and publication as the role model group of PLHIV. This project is expected to cover 4 different community in Banteay Meanchey and Ratanakiri provinces.

  • Results

    Building resilience and confidence of PLHIV to claim their space 

    Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) are known to face challenges among which living with the stigma of a PLHIV is one of the most debilitating. Additionally, they face challenges with accessing treatment on a timely basis as well as being able to afford proper nutrition for their medication. This has been the experience of the ARV Users Association through “Our voice, our community” project. They engaged in community awareness raising to reduce stigma and discrimination. The impact of that intervention is described as follows: 

    “I have HIV. Come shake hands with me. It will not give you HIV.” – Two of the project’s rightsholders who are living with HIV and who have become staunch advocates in the community. 

    The project’s direct approach to challenging community fears has had great impact on getting the message across to communities. The PLHIV who have been part of the project developed confidence and bravery to go public with their HIV status and speak up during community events such as the World Aids Day 2019. Getting to this point was a long journey that started with AUA formed 4 inclusive Self-help Groups (SHG) across 2 provinces (Ratanakiri and Banteay Meanchey), consisting of PLHIV, local authorities, health care staff, and elderly from the indigenous communities. These groups benefitted a total of 203 people (116 women), including 92 PLHIV. 

    The project created a safe space for the SHG members to build a strong connection and support for each other. They were empowered to share their stories, experiences, and commitments to help PLHIV to get equitable access to services. The SHG members collected information and 29 case studies and have intervened in cases where community members have experienced challenges. On the other hand, rights holders, local authorities, and other stakeholders have gained knowledge of human rights, HIV/AIDS laws, gender equality, and especially their right to health care as dictated by state and international legislation to protect and eliminate all forms of discrimination against PLHIV. 

    As a result of this project, the communities have built resilience and confidence to speak up for those in need and to advocate for appropriate solutions, while also reducing stigma and discrimination against PLHIV in the community and in health-care settings. At the same time, PLHIV gained confidence to advocate with authorities, health care providers and other stakeholders to help them gaining access to public service without discrimination. Authorities now understand the need for rights protection of PLHIV better and provide space and opportunities to SHG members to attend monthly commune and district meetings to make their voice heard. Additionally, some commune offices have prepared budgets for HIV/ AIDS awareness-raising in the commune development plan. 

    The following media files help to illustrate the project’s key achievements:  

    Videos: 

    • Ms. Chakriya, AUA SHG member at Banlung district, Rattanakiri province: 

    01-VOICE-MsChakriya.mp4  

    • Ms. Kunthea, AUA SHG member at Bokeo district, Rattanakiri province: 

    02-VOICE-Ms-Kunthea.mp4 

    • Mr. Sam Ol, HIV-positive and blind rightsholder: 

    03-VOICE-Mr-SamOL.mp4  

    • Mr. Sotoan, Commune Leader: 

    04-VOICE-Mr-Sotoan.mp4  

     

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