AVANZADA Coprecos LAC Project News - May 2012
Building off of a successful Year 1, Avanzada COPRECOS LAC expands reach in Year 2
The completion of Year One was marked by a final leadership meeting of all Year One countries and the welcoming of Peru and Brazil into the project to kick-off year two. The AVANZADA COPRECOS LAC project, which is a multi-country HIV prevention project within Latin America and the Caribbean, focuses on the uniformed services with funding from Round 9 of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Of the many accomplishments of the first year, one sweeping change was the successful integration of an HIV/STI prevention curriculum into the academies of the Armed Forces and the police for all Year 1 COPRECOS countries -- Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic. In addition to HIV/STI prevention, the curriculum modules address stigma and discrimination, including reducing the fear and misconceptions associated with HIV/AIDs, and a focus on human rightsincreasing access to quality care. Each of the countries participating in Year One also made changes to the uniformed services policies around HIV/AIDs, confidentiality and reduction of stigma and discrimination against vulnerable populations. In addition to fostering important learning opportunities and forming valuable collaborations with regional leaders, Year 1 implementation activities included the training of 280 peer educators. These peer educators were trained to distribute HIV/AIDS prevention materials in the military bases and police stations in each of the six countries.
During Year 1, a behavioral and biological surveillance study was also conducted involving more than 4,852 male and female active military and police personnel. The results of this baseline study provide an initial statistical point from which to measure the impact of the project. Correspondingly, this study will help evaluate the health conditions and needs of the target population. The data produced will be used to guide the intervention components and increase the efficiency and efficacy of the program.
The project is now begining its Year Two implementaiton with eight countries and is looking ahead towards bringing on additional countries. The project will be a driver of systems change and expanding community-based HIV/STI prevention within the uniformed services across the region.