1. Background

To benefit from Humana People to People Congo's long experience in providing HIV services in Kinshasa and Haut-Katanga, HPP-Congo is implementing the TCE project "Tonga Nzoto”. In the local language it means "revitalize your body" or "build your body".

ID.R. Congo has an overall HIV prevalence 1.2%. This rate is higher in urban areas (1.6%) such as Kinshasa, which has a population of about 12 million.

2. Operation areas and Partners

The TCE-Tonga Nzoto project is implemented in 6 health zones in the capital Kinshasa (Limeté, Lingwala, Matete, Kinshasa, Mont-Ngafula and Nd'jili). It is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health through the National AIDS Program (PNLS) in collaboration with 63 health facilities. The donor is CDC (Center for Disease Control) of the United States with funding from PEPFAR (President's Emergency Program for Aids Relief).

3. Project idea and implementation strategy

The project has a duration of 5 years and aims to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS, support HIV positive people to live long and healthy lives with the virus, to strengthen the links between the community and health structures to fight together to stop the HIV epidemic and achieve control of the epidemic and provide care for people living with HIV while contributing to the global goal of controlling the HIV epidemic by 2030.

The work involves identifying all HIV-positive children and adults and putting them on ARV treatment to reduce their viral load. The TCE Tonga Nzoto project contributes to the global 95-95-95 strategy, which means that 95% of people with HIV know their HIV status, 95% of people who know their HIV status receive antiretroviral treatment, and 95% of people on ARV treatment have an undetectable viral load (and therefore no longer transmit the virus to their sexual partners).

TCE -Total Control of the Epidemic is an innovative approach in the fight against HIV/AIDS under its motto: "Only the people can free themselves from the AIDS epidemic".

The approach for INDEX case testing in TCE Tonga Nzoto starts in the 63 health structures that deal with PLWH and all issues related to the fight against HIV/AIDS. The TCE Tonga Nzoto project reinforces the community approach with Field Officers on the ground who collaborate with Peer Educators, beneficiaries including OVC, RECOs and the key population.

4. Objectives and Activities

Goal 1: 95% of HIV-positive people know their HIV status.

- Optimize HIV testing at all health facilities following screening for suspected HIV cases.

- Improve the implementation of testing of all HIV+ patients.

- Integrate sexual and gender-based violence interventions.

- Intensify index case testing and partner notification strategies.

- Implement social network and partner testing strategies.

- Ensure testing of all patients with tuberculosis.

- Support disclosure and counseling specifically for men and adolescents to find more HIV+ persons.

- Ensure testing of all biological children of HIV+ women.

-  Identify and test male partners of women who test positive to test for HIV.

- Ensure testing of children born to HIV+ women.

Objective 2: 95% of people who know their HIV-positive status receive antiretroviral treatment.

- Put all people tested for HIV+ on ARV treatment, preferably on the same day.

- Monitor people on ARV treatment for adherence to their treatment.

Objective 3: 95% of people on ARV treatment have an undetectable viral load (and therefore no longer transmit the virus to their sexual partners).

- Assist the 63 partner clinics to ensure that all their PLHIV clients are offered viral load testing every 12 months and more often if viral load is not suppressed.

- Monitor viral load suppression.

- Organize TRIOs for new PLHIV and PLHIV with detectable viral load to accompany them to viral load suppression.

- Improve clinical care for patients with HIV/AIDS and related opportunistic infections.

- Strengthen DCM models (Diversified Care Model) for stable ARV clients.

- Organize activities for OVC (healthy, stable, in school, safe, etc.).

5. Some results achieved and effects created to date.

Starting on October 1, 2019, the TCE Tonga Nzoto project has produced the following key results that are slowly and surely leading to the achievement of the 95-95-95 strategy. To date the project has tested 108,304 people; out of this number 4,706 people have tested positive and 4,529 people are on antiretroviral treatment.

Some effects are already reported:

First of all, one of the main effects of the project is felt by the people who tested positive and have started treatment that will allow them to live long and healthy lives.

Secondly, a number of people have accepted their own HIV status or that of a family member, which will improve their quality of life.

Finally, thousands of orphans and vulnerable children infected or affected by AIDS have been enrolled in the OVC program and have received visits and attention from the case managers.  250 children have received birth certificates through the Tonga Nzoto project.  147 parents of OVC were trained in the FMP program and 812 parents of OVC were trained in financial education and family budget management and have started a culture of saving and now have a contingency fund for urgent needs.

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