Through its many years of work in all sectors of development, Humana People to People* witnessed the toll that HIV/AIDS had on individuals and entire communities, destroying the fragile progress of their lives. HPP developed the TCE model to work at the ground level to combat the epidemic, and help reduce the terrible human cost of this dreaded disease.
TCE is built on the understanding that it is only the people themselves who can liberate themselves from the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Its primary focus is thus to mobilize communities toward behavior change that reduces stigma, strengthens prevention, and sustains treatment.
Working Toward Epidemic Control
One of the earliest supporters of TCE was the Arab Gulf Fund for Development (AGFUND), who recognized Humana People to People's newly launched TCE project as a promising model to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
During the past two decades, HPP Federation’s network of local NGOs have worked with ministries of health, national AIDS councils, and a range of international and national partners to scale-up the TCE model. As an example, HPP has implemented PEPFAR-funded projects in some of the hardest hit countries to meet the goals of HIV/AIDS epidemic control. They have established themselves as experienced and cost-effective local implementing partners.
HPP members have focused their HIV/AIDS work in Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. HPP members have also carried out HIV/AIDS control efforts in Angola, the DRC, Guinea Bissau, India, and China over the years.
Since 2000, HPP members have collectively reached over 20 million people in 12 countries across Africa and Asia with HIV/AIDS prevention, referrals for treatment initiation, and care and support interventions.
As a learning network, HPP members have refined and adapted TCE based on objectives set and progress made globally, and changes in epidemiology over time. Nevertheless, the basic principles remain the same: the people who are infected and affected by this disease must be empowered to be the driving force in achieving epidemic control—thus building a sustainable response.
Since the onset of TCE, HPP members have collaborated with national ministries of health and national AIDS councils in significant ways. In recent years, those efforts have intensified further to identify and test undiagnosed individuals by focusing testing efforts on the families and sexual partners of those who have been diagnosed HIV-positive. This is accomplished mainly through index case testing, the preferred method under PEPFAR to wisely use resources to target those at highest risk.
In line with the 95-95-95 strategy, TCE takes pride in accompanying individuals all the way from HIV testing, through immediate access to ARTs, to engagement in care and adherence support groups. Moreover, due to HPP’s multi-sector programming, wraparound services for HIV-positive individuals are more easily tapped, thus serving the comprehensive needs related to economic income generation, vocational skills building, education, food security and nutrition, and support for orphans and other vulnerable children (OVCs) within households affected by HIV.
TCE is a flexible model that has been used to integrate interventions to address chronic illnesses (HIV/AIDS, STIs, TB, and malaria) that often hit the same beneficiaries. The foundation of TCE lies in building lasting capacity in participants, volunteers, other community members, and local leaders to make the results sustainable. TCE works to empower community members with the knowledge and age-appropriate tools they need to protect themselves and prevent infections, and to mitigate the consequences of the epidemic. TCE also works with individuals and the community at large to break down the stigma, fear, ignorance, and discrimination that those living with HIV may still face.
* Humana People to People (HPP) is a federation of 32 locally registered and independent development organizations working in 43 countries. The hallmarks of these local NGOs include their capacity and cost efficiency at the community level, extensive track records, and close cooperation with national governments.
HPP's development philosophy embraces the ideal of working shoulder to shoulder with the poor in the fight against poverty, and in empowering individuals and communities to be the driving force of their own development. Members of the Federation benefit 12 million people annually and employ more than 9,000 staff. HPP is represented in the United States through Planet Aid, a 501(c)(3) U.S. non-profit development organization that operates a clothes-recycling program.