Supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), India HIV/AIDS Alliance’s Nirantar programme complements the existing national HIV program in helping to ensure quality prevention services in three target states: Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha. Targeted Interventions (TIs) are the core prevention strategy for key populations, and they are being enhanced by Nirantar through focused advocacy and capacity building. The programme provides skill building to frontline workers with support from a trained resource pool that includes both community members from key populations and other experts.
Nirantar includes a significant mentorship component that leverages this resource pool to guide and build capacity of frontline TI staff. Outreach workers are provided handholding support along with formal classroom trainings to improve the quality and impact of their engagement with community members: motivating them to access services, encouraging safer sexual behavior and injecting practices, advocating with stakeholders, and sensitizing service providers.
Participants in Nirantar’s mentorship programme are chosen carefully. Below are three examples of the dedicated men and women who are working as mentors to ensure the success of the programme.
Rohini, Sonali and Harish are just a few of the Nirantar mentors who are working actively to use their expertise to promote wellbeing of key populations and improve HIV prevention outcomes through stronger community leadership and improved organisational capacity. Nirantar has pioneered TI mentoring to increase the utilization of available resources within the community as well as outside it by providing handholding support to peer educators and outreach workers. The programme also provides ongoing training for mentors and is working with government to identify opportunities to expand mentorship support to TIs in other states.
This blog was written by the Nirantar team at India HIV/AIDS Alliance in New Delhi. Named for the Hindi word meaning ‘relentless,’ Nirantar works in the underserved Indian states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha to create enabling environments for vulnerable key populations (KPs), such as female sex workers (FSWs), men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders, people who inject drugs (PWID) to improve HIV prevention outcomes.
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