A LE TSSTO PAI D S P R O JE CT
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Bhekuzulu, Bhekuzulu, SouthSouth AfricaAfrica
Climate Change & HIV Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no secret. HIV and climate change are two of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most pressing issues; and those living in poverty are drastically impacted by a changing climate and health challenges such as HIV. Climate change affects various communities in different ways. The communities that depend upon natural resources such as rain to sustain themselves are severely affected by climate change. The effects of climate change such as droughts and food scarcity, result in malnutrition and food insecurity for such communities. These unfavorable climate conditions give rise to a chain of unfortunate situations and negatively affect the health of the people in such communities. Malnutrition in people living with HIV/AIDS can worsen the immunosuppressive effects of HIV. Additionally, as basic needs of food and water are prioritised, they tend to neglect the need to take daily life saving medications (antiretrovirals). These difficult decisions compound the challenges and health impacts over time.
What is STNA? Spread Trees, Not AIDS (STNA), is a LetsStopAIDS initiative; in partnership with communities in South Africa, that involves tree-planting exercises and community workshops on HIV/AIDS. Besides planting trees, to reduce the impact of climate change, our community workshops provide access to sexual and reproductive health education to youths living in these communities. For the past 12 years, we have partnered with the AIDS Foundation of South Africa and Food & Trees for Africa in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa to facilitate community workshops around preventing and addressing HIV.
Why South Africa? Some rural communities in South Africa are facing high rates of HIV infections and would benefit greatly from our education initiatives about HIV awareness. The levels of deforestation in these communities is also a pressing issue which is not addressed. The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness about both of these issues at the same time and empower the youth of the region to take care of themselves and their environment.
A L E TSSTO PAIDS P R O JE CT
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