Find out how we are partnering to increase HIV testing among 15-24 year olds in Florianόpolis

Through our Global Strategic Initiatives - Positive Partnerships programme, we are committed to working at a grass roots level with external stakeholders to find innovative solutions to support the care of people living with HIV (PLHIV).

By 2015 Santa Caterina, a southern state of Brazil, had registered more than 11,000 AIDS deaths. Last year, 18% of notified AIDS cases in Florianópolis (population approximately 470 000), the capital city of the province, were related to 15-24 years-olds. [1] Dai Galera is a mobile, free and targeted HIV testing initiative, whose objective is to increase testing amongst 15-24 year olds ,  specifically in Florianopolis.  Until 2015 5,300 people have been tested for HIV in the city and the objective of the initiative is to double testing rates by reaching a total of 10,900 in 2017.  Dai Galera not only focuses on testing , the aim is also to educate young people around the importance of HIV disease awareness and early diagnosis.

Our key partner is GAPA-SC, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that will implement the project.  They have been in operation for 29 years and have many relevant HIV initiatives in prevention, increasing diagnosis and access to specialised care and treatment.  

Cultivating Dai Galera Champions

So far the initiative has completed two major activities.  The first was to develop a group of 16 people to act as leaders within the community and be responsible for testing and training of others.  The ten young people with diverse backgrounds (17-25 years olds including former homeless, pregnant, graduation/post graduation students, LGBT, around 80% of which living with HIV (including vertical transmission) were matched with six professionals from various backgrounds, such as  psychology, social service and physical education.

The second major activity was the team training and workshop to prepare the ‘young leaders’ to perform the HIV testing and disease awareness.  The training focused on areas such as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) prevention and disease awareness, rapid test training (for professionals) and  counseling training (pre and post testing). Training was conducted through live workshops and online. A key insight from the process was that young people may be embarrassed of demonstrating how to use a condom.

One of the mobile testing and HIV information unit used in Florianopolis on the 9th of November.

The volunteers have also created a check-list for testing events, held leadership meetings with several stakeholders (e.g Epidemiologic Vigilance department, community leaders, education secretary), and their first  “Daí Galera” lecture took place on September 28th at a school. The team have also been very active on social media channels to spread awareness of the initiative.

The first pilot testing recently took place and it is being followed up by two days of testing at the NGO HQ sidewalk and at a University event (Diversity Annual Games).  As of February 6th, 1436 tests have been completed and over 13,000 condoms have been given out.

The team will have a busy few months ahead, as from November 2016 to June 2017, the testing events will be weekly, taking place in several parts of Florianopolis and during key events.

You can follow up to date progress with the following channels and for more information please watch the GAPA-SC and GSK Brazil interview for more insights and information!

We will keep you up to date as they progress.

[1] A loose translation from the Florianópolis dialect is “come on, guys! Let´s go!”

[2] http://aids.sc.gov.br/dados.html