Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has become a global crisis challenging the humanity of our time. Further, the crisis is projected to get worse turning into a catastrophe. This epidemic transcends geographical, gender, racial, ethnic as well as economic barriers, and thus, Nepal remains no exception. Health experts have projected that it will become a leading cause of death over the coming years. During the early 1990s Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) seroprevalence surveys detected HIV infections among sexually transmitted infection (STI) patients and female sex workers throughout most regions in Nepal. The 2003 estimate of UNAIDS states that there are as many as 61,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Nepal. Further, a study done by New Era (2002) states that 40.4 percent of intravenous drug users (IDUs) in Nepal are HIV positive. An estimated number of 3,000 adult and child deaths have been attributed to HIV/AIDS in 2002. However, well-researched, concrete and consistent data is yet to be determined. With the lack of such solid data, those living with HIV/AIDS are believed to be much higher than the estimate.
With the increased rate of migration, trafficking within and across the country, child labor and injecting drug users, the HIV/AIDS rate will only go up. Those who are at higher risk comprise migrants, child labors, the younger population in general, intravenous drug users, and unborn child of infected mothers. Unprotected sex, use of intravenous unsterilized injections, and mother to child infections have been the important risk factors. But the major mode of transmission remains sexual intercourse. In most cases, the HIV epidemic is driven by the behaviors such as unprotected sex, use of unsterile injectibles, and stigmatizing and condemning the infected puts individuals at higher risks. Therefore, raising awareness on HIV/AIDS and clarifying the misconceptions are an effective tool toward prevention. Moreover, it is also vital to break down the stigmas and misconceptions associated with HIV/AIDS so that effective treatment of HIV-positive persons can be carried out in a manner that ensures their basic human rights.
The overall goal of the project is to prevent trafficking and HIV/AIDS in the communities.
The specific goals include: