Every few months, members of GAIA’s staff, Board members, and volunteers trek to Bamako, Mali. Each time we go, we bring several thousand condoms that are distributed to medical students at the University of Bamako Medical School. They are also given to physicians in the hospitals and clinics in Bamako, Mali and GAIA VF’s Chez Rosalie clinic in Sikoro, Mali.
As part of GAIA’s peer education program Here Bolo (Hand of Hope) trained members of the community go door to door disseminating information on HIV testing and prevention. During these educational sessions they also hand out plenty of condoms.
By providing HIV tests free of charge and educating non-medical providers to perform testing and counseling, information about HIV status is accessible to all. Scientific research has shown an association between knowledge of HIV status and self-initiated prevention activities
GAIA provides HIV rapid tests, donated by Abbott Laboratories, to the Chez Rosalie clinic in Sikoro, Bamako, Mali. To date, roughly 1,000 women living in Sikoro, Mali are attending the clinic every year for prenatal care have consented to HIV testing.
In conjunction with GAIA@Brown, GAIA also conducts free, rapid HIV testing at Brown University. Testing is open to both the Brown community and the public as a way to boost the amount of people living in the area that know their HIV status.