What is the HIV-SAM project?
The HIV-SAM Project supports HIV prevention and sexual health promotion with Sub-Saharan African Migrants (SAM) in Flanders. Together with the Sub-Saharan African communities and their leaders we develop, implement and evaluate targeted HIV prevention campaigns.
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We work together with Sub-Saharan African migrants living with HIV on multiple areas for HIV prevention. HIV-SAM offers culturally tailored support services such as individual counseling and support groups. We aim at empowering people living with HIV according to GIPA principles, i.e. to achieve ‘greater involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS’ in their own care and support, as well as in HIV prevention. On request, we provide advice to professionals on culturally sensitive care and support.
We promote early HIV testing and counseling and linkage to care for Sub-Saharan African Migrants (SAM). We aim at reducing existing barriers to HIV testing and counseling, thereby increasing the number of SAM who know their HIV status. To achieve this we work on two levels:
- promotion of HIV testing and organizing mobile HIV testing in the communities
- working with health care providers to promote provider-initiated HIV testing among their Sub-Saharan African patients.
We support community-based organizations in HIV prevention activities and in setting up actions to reduce HIV related stigma and discrimination. We work with key organizations in the field , and with HIV prevention networks consisting of socio-cultural Sub-Saharan African community-based organizations and their leaders. Organizations and community members who want to join us in this endeavour, can find more information here…
Our work is informed by scientific evidence ( either through own operational research or available state-of-the-art scientific evidence). HIV-SAM adopts a participatory approach in working together with affected communities, and aims at tailoring prevention activities to the real needs of people and communities affected. Prevention activities are therefore gender-specific and culturally sensitive.