In 2017 we implemented the ARASA project that was titled; INTEGRATED ACCESS TO HIV, TB AND HUMAN RIGHTS INFORMATION AND INTERVENTION’’.
This project aimed at ensuring access to sexual reproductive health and providing support, care and treatment for LBQ women. We envisioned the challenges faced by the LBQ community in accessing HIV, TB health services and information as well as equipping beneficiaries with knowledge and information on human rights. The project was implemented in one year (2017) through the following activities.
HIV counselling, screening and management. We managed to reach 60 LBQ womxn through counselling and testing and this enabled them know their status which boosted their behavioral change. Beneficiaries became keen of their lives by embracing and using the preventive measures to minimize the spread of HIV infection. LBQ women who were living with HIV where empowered to live positively to prevent further infections of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and opportunistic infections.
Through operating with existing health service provision centers, there was a strengthened collaboration and networking with the health care provision centers hence fueling accessible non discriminative services.
We conducted 2 Hepatitis -B screening and vaccination exercises in conjunction with Mengo Hospital, this exercise benefited 40 LBQ women who were fully vaccinated and are now protected from Hepatitis -B virus. This also created a non-discriminative working relationship with that health facility.
We also published a hand on easy to carry guide on HIV/AIDS, TB and Human Rights book to enable a day today informative read for our LGBT community. Please find the book at this link; https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8Ry3LvfSoW0emlKbW9NbEQzeVU/view?resourcekey=0-bmam5Mt6hIaaPdQy1yYXhA
More information was shared through awareness creation and sensitization sessions. Beneficiaries where able to acquire knowledge and information on HIV, TB and human rights through dialoguing with experts in the different fields. This provided ample time for participants to actively engage in the discussions a method that influences easy and quick understanding of the subject matter.
We acknowledge AIDS and Rights Advocacy South Africa (ARASA) for giving our clinic officer, Arthur Mubiru the opportunity for participating in the ARASA T.O.T 2016 training that yielded into this project.
The Elton John Foundation (EJAF) introduced the Deep Engagement Fund (DEG) that was aimed at extending and improving HIV services towards LGBTQ community in Uganda. Our project title was ‘’ACCESS TO HIV SERVICES FOR ALL’’.
Implemented during 2017-2018, the EJAF project targeted LBQ women from all regions of Uganda where we reached LBQ women from the districts of greater central i.e., kampala, wakiso and Mukono, Gulu, Arua, Lira, Mbarara, jinja, Kayunga, Iganga, Mbale, Madu and Mpigi. We were able to reach 268 LBQ women with HIV related information and services of voluntary testing and linking positives to health service provision centers for further management. This helped beneficiaries to know their HIV status as well as creating improvement is sexual behavioral change.
This exercise did not only befit LBQ women but also strengthened the link between LBQ organisation, groups and individuals with the health centers and service providers from the respective districts. This has fostered demand and access to non-discriminatory health services.
We were able to reach 120 health service providers through dialogues where we shared on the challenges affecting LBQ women in accessing health care services and how they can be improved. Through sharing our lived realities, many service providers were able to change their perceptions and mindset towards LGBTQ persons and this yielded to provision of non-discriminative health care services. They got information about sexuality and gender and the fact that we existed in Uganda.
Under this project we conducted adherence meetings that brought together LBQ women living with HIV through dialoguing on better ways of living a positive and productive life. This has enabled many LBQWHIV to change their lives through positive thinking and self-care which has supported retention hence adherence to their ART. As if that’s not enough, many have been able to create a sustainable living through establishing small scale businesses that have economically empowered them. They have been able to form a saving group that also contributed to their wellbeing and productivity.
Through our peers and project coordinator we have been able to follow up on the LBQWHIV to assess how they are copying with positive living. These follow ups have enabled us to identify their needs and challenges encountered in communities they live. This has enabled us lobby for more funds to ensure that they take their drugs on time through provision of nutritional support as well as provision of psychosocial support which enhance continuity of drug retention and adherence.
KEY POPULATIONS INVESTMENT FUND (KPIF) 2018-2019
With support from center for disease control (CDC) through infectious disease institute (IDI), under the Key Populations Investment Fund (KPIF), we implemented a project titled; ‘’STRENGTHENING HIV RESPONSE, CARE AND MANAGEMENT AMONG LBQ WOMEN IN UGANDA’’. This project advocates for HIV programming inclusive of LBQ women at community, national and international level.
As FARUG, this project was implemented in Kampala and Wakiso and we are glad to be the leading LBQ organisation to foster LBQ inclusion in HIV prevention and programming. We were able to have more dialogues with LBQ women where we continued to equip them with knowledge and information on HIV, STIs and behavioral change. These dialogues brought together LBQ women to share life experiences in regards to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. From the dialogues members have been able to access services from our Drop-in Centre (DIC) and the nearby health centres in societies they live.
This project also enabled us reach 80 health service providers from different health centers in Kampala through dialogues where we fostered change in attitude towards service provision. This has increased the number of LBQ women seeking for health care services without judgement.
The project enabled continuity of adherence meetings for LBQ women living with HIV as well as contributing to drug retention and productive health living. LBQWHIV have been able to encourage and empower themselves through sharing how they have handled challenges encountered in different aspects because of their HIV status. Through these sharing, they have been able to learn from each other on how better they can live, take care of their children (LBQ mothers) as well as taking their ART effectively. 60 LBQWHIV have benefited from this program.
FARUG peers have continuously followed up on LBQWHIV to ensure their wellbeing and assess how effective they are adhering to treatment and livelihood. In situations of ART defaulting, referrals have been made to ensure resumption of proper and monitored drug retention. This is supported with psychosocial support from both our organisation and the health care centres our clients are attached.
We published a book entitled ‘’LBQ WOMEN HEALTH’’ enriched with information on HIV, PrEP, PEP and Gender based violence (GBV). This book is a day today informative read for the LBQ community in Uganda. Visit the link below to access this publication.
Implemented at the beginning of 2021, we have been able to conduct more dialogues with health service providers from the districts of Kampala, Wakiso, Gulu, Lira, Mbale. This was aimed at sharing our SRHR challenges and create room for access to favorable health care services.
We were able to write a publication on SRHR among LBQ women a book that brings out a detailed series of challenges and recommendations of LBQ women in accessing health care. It’s detailed with Information on HIV, GBV and SRHR to enable an insightful read for the target communities. You can grab a copy from the link below. https://www.faruganda.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/FARUG-GUIDE-ON-QUEERING-SRHR.pdf?swcfpc=1
Under this project we have been able to conduct monthly learning conversations SHRH. Members come together and have conversations around the daily experience, gain new knowledge as well as identifying solutions some of the challenges encountered. Among topics we have so far discussed, there is increased behavioral change among members and an increase in demand for service. Some of the topics so far discussed are; – Mental health
- SRHR on home-based care
- Self-testing and the kit
- Gender and sexuality
- Sexually transmitted infections (STI) prevention and treatment
- Menstrua health management and safe abortion
- Reproductive autonomy
- Alcohol and substance abuse
We were able to conduct the Peers performance review and this enabled us to evaluate peers’ work. There is an increase in the rate at which peers are proving service to their counterparts.
The project enabled us reach 64 health service providers from the greater central region of wakiso, Kampala and Mukono and 29 from upcountry (Gulu, Lira and Mbale) through which we dialogued on Challenges encountered by LBQ women and how best they access the available health care services.
We have continued to create information dissemination by sharing SRHR information on our social media platforms. This has broadened the area of coverage, information acquisition and access which hugely contributes to behavioral change among LBQ persons ass well as increased demand for quality SRHR services and information.
Thank you amplify change for making this a success.
With support from global fund were managed to conduct a Trainer of Trainees (T.O.T). We reached 25 LBQ women with knowledge and information on SRHR in a broader angle.
We conducted an SRHR camp through which LBQ women benefited from STI screening and management, breast and cervical cancer screening and management. This activity benefited 157 LBQ women from Kampala, Gulu, Lira, Mbarara and Mbale. Sanitary ware, lubricant and condoms were distributed during the camp. LBQ members continued to learn about their health and how to demand for quality health care services.
Thank you global fund for making this a success.