EVE for Life gets US$43,000 boost
Approximately 32,000 Jamaicans are living with HIV/AIDS. While this disease affects many in our society, it is evident that the vulnerable may be overlooked when discussions, policies, treatment, and support are needed. There are limited programmes to assist persons affected by HIV/AIDS, but organisations such as EVE For Life champion the cause for those who need support the most.
The local arm of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), an international organisation advocating for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, recognised the importance of the work of EVE for Life and donated US$43,590 towards the organisation coordinating and implementing its new programmes: Self-Motivated and Responsible Teenagers and Vocal and Informed Teens: to Plan and Prevent. Through this grant, the AHF will support the work of EVE for Life through its various initiatives in order to reach those individuals with HIV/ AIDS who are not part of the key population (sex workers and men who have sex with men) and are often overlooked in studies, outreach programmes, and treatment groups.
VOICE TO THE VOICELESS
"Our adolescent girls and young women must be provided with the opportunities and spaces to be empowered regardless of their status. Giving a voice to the voiceless is creating a platform for change. This is a part of our overall efforts to strengthen the national HIV response," said Dr Kevin Harvey, Caribbean regional director, AHF.
This grant, through EVE for Life, will focus on outreach programmes to young women on safer sexual practices, recognising and embracing their sexuality, and psychological support and providing medical services such as testing and medication. The AHF has partnered with EVE For Life as the organisation has a broader reach and is more accessible to persons who may not be seeking treatment through the formal healthcare system for reasons such as finances, stigma and their safety and that of their families.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation and EVE for Life have partnered on other programmes such as the She's Our Ally programme in 2015, where the girls in the programme made quilts, and the I Am Alive programme in 2016, which was aimed at improving adherence retention of care for 25 young mothers and providing peer mentorship.
EVE For Life is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that is committed to improving the sexual reproductive health and quality of life of young women and girls ages 15 to 24 affected by HIV and sexual and gender-based violence. The work of the organisation is important in a society where those with HIV/AIDS are underrepresented. Additionally, the organisation and others like it have seen a significant decline in sponsorship and support over the years.