HIV/AIDS outreach and awareness programmes
Our goal is to minimize the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the vulnerable population in the community and to provide quality services for their sexual health needs, lessen the overall incidents of STI’s(sexually transmitted infections), HIV/AIDS through focused holistic intervention through enabling environment & empowering the community to seek safe sexual behavior.
Being a community based organization, majority of community staff members are retained from its inception. The capacity building of the staff is evident from the fact that the staff members who are currently working in the capacity of Project Officers have worked as Peer Educators, Outreach Workers and Community Counselors. Further, some of the staff members work as mentors, Master Trainers and Evaluators. The staff members have been a part of various training programmes from State Government, NACO, TISS and many NGOs/CBOs.
Distribution of IF
Condom prevents sexually transmitted infection and HIV/AIDS.
Free condoms and lubes are distributed through outreach services every day at gay cruising sites across all the three cities of Gujarat.
Condom usage among MSM population is promoted through one to one interactions and group discussions using specific educational materials and counseling process.
For easy access of condoms, condom outlets have been established at all the gay cruising sites and at public urinals, always ensuring the availability and accessibility of condoms.
STI care/ Health camps
Anyone can be infected by HIV, but chances are higher if someone has STI (Sexually transmitted Infection) thus the treatment of STIs is crucial to prevent HIV infection.
The organization has the first and only STI Clinic in the entire Gujarat State exclusive for the MSM population, with a gay friendly doctor and paramedical staff. The clinic provides free counseling and treatment to the patients.
The organization is also a national surveillance site for the country body National AIDS Control Organization, which further helps to figure out the prevalence rate of HIV among the MSM population through its annual HIV and STI surveillance exercise.
Being HIV positive and also gay adds double stigma and discrimination. Lakshya Trust works towards collectivization of HIV Positive individuals and provides basic HIV services such as counseling, Nutrition counseling, linking up with government run Anti-Retroviral Therapy Centers as well as provides safe spaces for recreational meetings and activities for positive men.
Counseling services for HIV / AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and sexuality related issues is provided by the organization. Coming out, confusion with gender role and identity, pressure of heterosexual marriage, change of orientation are some of the issues which are dealt with related to sexuality counseling. Counseling services also systematically addresses mental health issues such as guilt feelings, depression, suicidal ideation, self- destructive behavior, anxiety due to sexual orientation sometimes doubled with HIV status.
Needs Assessment Study
Needs assessment study conducted by Lakshya Trust was done for the purpose of information collection only. The goal of The Needs Assessment basically pertains to the collection of information which is necessary to plan a good targeted intervention programme.
This point is emphasised because some organizations mention goals such as reducing HIV/AIDS which would practically reduce the quality factor of programmes due to stringent methods.
During Needs Assessment, much focus was not placed in watching the delivery of service in the form of information giving (Awareness programs) or condom supply or STD care, etc. If the teams would focus into service delivery then the quality of Needs Assessment will suffer bringing down the quality of the intervention.
Target Intervention is a focused intervention dealing with only one population (in the present context Sex Industry, or street children or slum dwellers) and addressing usually one problem (reduction of STD/ HIV/ AIDS in the context of the current project). Broad objectives of the study
- To identify needs of the community within the context of sexual health.
- To make an estimate of the size of target group, number of vulnerable families and total population size.
- To make a profile of primary stakeholders: their socio-cultural profile, daily activity, annual cycle of activities, etc.
- To make a profile of external stakeholders.
- To make a profile of sexual health service providers: their categories, daily activity scene, information regarding BCC/STD/condoms, etc.
- To find out the relationships between primary, external and sexual health service providers, both within each group and among them.
- To make a list of needs of primary stakeholders, external stakeholders and sexual health service providers.
- To use the above information to make a good intervention proposal.