PACTO is a four-year USAID-funded project that aims to facilitate structural, normative and behavioral change to lower barriers to HIV services; increase demand for PMTCT, VMMC, Testing and Counseling among men and women; assure ART adherence and positive prevention lifestyles among PLWHA; condemn gender based violence across all media and community interventions; and promote the utilization of the GBV service continuum in Mozambique.
• PACTO promoted ownership of the Center of Excellence in Health Communication by Polytechnic University, which launched in February 2013. PACTO supported the establishment of a new curriculum for training students in Social and Behavior Change Communication and Health Journalism. Students were able to enroll in these courses in February and will finish coursework by June 2013.
• President Armando Guebuza spoke on national television on December 1, 2012 after viewing a portion of the Tchova Tchova program at the World AIDS day event and following presentations about PACTO. The President underscored the ‘Mozambicanisation’ of communication messages used in Tchova Tchova , noting that they were demonstrating effectiveness in reducing high-risk behaviors. He emphasized that the fight against HIV/AIDS needs a multi-level approach, including behavioral and biomedical interventions as well as action at the community level.
• PACTO supported the Conselho Nacional de Combate ao HIV/SIDA’s (CNCS) Andar Fora é Maningue Arriscado (Stepping Out is Very Risky) multimedia campaign which addresses multiple concurrent partnerships (MCP). In November 2012, as a continuation of CNCS’ first MCP campaign, Andar Fora é Maningue Arriscado launched seeking to break HIV’s “spiral of silence,” increase risk perception, and establish a new paradigm for couples to have relationships free of MCP. The campaign utilizes a combination of mass media components (TV and radio spots, debates and an interactive radio show), social media channels (Facebook, SMS and YouTube), and community interventions (vehicle signage and bar and restaurant partnerships) to encourage men and couples to adopt responsible sexual behaviors and practices that protect their families.
• In partnership with the MOH, FDC, and major telephone companies, PACTO helped revitalize the Alô Vida Hotline in November of 2012. The hotline provides free counseling and information about health, specifically HIV prevention referring clients for care. About half of the calls were related to HIV and AIDS. The most frequently asked questions noted thus far have been related to forms of HIV transmission, symptoms of STIs, locations of HIV testing facilities, HIV prevention and PMTCT.
• Since October 2010, Tchova Tchova Histórias de Vida (TTHV) has reached over 100,000 adults and couples . Through these points of contact, facilitators have emphasized the transformation of gender norms and male involvement in lowering risky sexual behaviors, reducing victimization/ blaming of women, increasing uptake and adherence of ART and PMTCT, and reducing barriers that prevent disclosure and access to health services. During the most recent six months (June-December 2012), CBOs associated with TTHV referred 2,700+ clients for services while TTHV Grupos de Accção (GAs) or Action Groups made 7,000+ distinct referrals as well.
• As a mechanism of supporting people living with HIV/AIDS (PLH) and achieving harmonization between communities and service provision, PACTO has supported the development of Positive Prevention (PP) district-level interventions . Through partnerships with local PLH associations and community leaders, PACTO has assisted the coordination of community workshops that have reached 60,000+ PLH. PP facilitators refer clients to health facilities for ART adherence, PMTCT and couples testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS and STIs. In coordination with health services, many PP facilitators have also become “tracers” who identify clients that are late for an appointment, have abandoned treatment or have just learned about their positive status. The PP workshops have gained such popularity that many PLH participants have created their own support groups in their communities and beyond.