Civil Society Organisations in HIV Control
NGOs and civil society organisations have made significant contribution in reaching out HIV prevention and care services to the highly vulnerable population groups. There are numerous NGOs/CSOs working on HIV/AIDS at the local, state and national levels. The National AIDS Control Programme recognises the importance of their participation, particularly in preventive or targeted interventions for high risk groups, care and support of people living with HIV/AIDS and in general awareness campaigns.
Community mobilisation and empowerment are essential for successful transition of a programme to the communities. Civil Society Organisations and NGOs bring with them their experience of community level work in enhancing people’s participation. They, therefore, play a crucial role in preparing communities to take ownership of the programme, and thereby enhance the scope of prevention, care and support. Their participation has immensely benefited the HIV/AIDS programme.
NGOs and Preventive Interventions
Targeted interventions are very significant component of National AIDS Control Programme. These interventions provide comprehensive and integrated approach for HIV prevention among the marginalised and vulnerable populations such as female sex workers (FSW), injecting drug users (IDU), men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) and bridge population such as migrant workers and truckers. NACO, in partnership with CSOs/NGOs, provides HIV prevention services to these groups at a place and time where they can be most effectively accessed.
Given the efficacy of CBOs/NGOs in reaching the targeted interventions, their involvement has steadily expanded. In 2006, CBOs/NGOs were involved in 1080 projects. A further scale up is due under NACP III. NACO also seeks their greater involvement and participation at district/state/national level in providing home-based care, setting up community care centres, addressing stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS etc. With this view, NACO conducts capacity-building programmes for these NGOs/CBOs; it also encourages NGOs in the non-health/HIV sector to expand the scope of their work to include HIV issues especially stigma and discrimination.
Faith-based organisations (FBOs) play an important role in prevention, care and support activities in the far-flung areas. Several FBOs have already taken up mainstreaming activities, and inter-faith coalition on HIV/AIDS has been formed to strengthen the activities among their members.
Networking and Civil Society Partnership Forums
The CSOs, NGOs, CBOs and FBOs are seen as genuine long-term partners in NACP. Civil society organisations, including NGOs, CBOs, Red Ribbon Clubs, PLHA networks, private sector organisations and academic institutions working for HIV prevention and care in the district can become members of the District Forum. The Forum implements district plan and has data to review progress.