What is the HIV-SAM Project?
The HIV-SAM project aims at promoting sexual health and HIV prevention in the communities of Sub-Saharan African migrants living in Flanders.
As in most western European countries, Sub-Saharan African migrants are disproportionally affected by HIV/AIDS. Although they are a small migrant community ( approximately 60,000 individuals in Flanders, or 0.94% of the Flemish population and 9.43 % of all the migrants). They account for 33 % of cumulative HIV diagnoses (2013) which makes them the second largest group affected by HIV after men having sex with men.
The Flemish Ministry of Welfare, Public Health and Family has reacted to the HIV crisis in this population and commissioned targeted HIV prevention. The HIV-SAM Project started in 1996. At present, we work on the basis of a five year management agreement (2016-2021) which responded to an open call for field organizations. Our current work is guided by the priorities stipulated in the five-year policy plan. Each year our work is fine-tuned through a detailed annual plan approved by the Ministry . Since the beginning of our work, we have aimed at promoting sexual health and preventing HIV in the communities of Sub-Saharan African migrants living in Flanders. Our work also contributes to the implementation of the 2014 National HIV-Plan.
Our mission statement
The HIV-SAM Project is dedicated to promoting sexual health and well-being among Sub-Saharan African communities living in Flanders and to reducing HIV/AIDS in this population. Adopting a comprehensive, participatory and evidence-based approach, we aim to contribute to effective “combination prevention”. This includes
- raising awareness on HIV and sexual health,
- delivering culturally tailored information and education,
- developing and testing interventions including the promotion of HIV testing and linking people to care, and
- promoting the well-being of people living with HIV.
We also aim at strengthening capacity for HIV prevention in community organizations and among professional service providers. Through our networks of community organizations and their community leaders, we aim at mobilizing an effective community response to HIV in an environment free of HIV-related stigma and discrimination.