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News and Resources

Rooftops Canada and African Partners Keep Up Focus on HIV, AIDS and Housing


News and Resources

Rooftops Canada and its African partners have been confronting the multiple and inseparable links between poor housing conditions and HIV and AIDS for 15 years, promoting African regional and global networks on HIV and AIDS and housing with a particular focus on women, youth and livelihoods.

 

In 2008, a Rooftops Canada undertook an assessment of the HIV, AIDS and housing work of eight housing organizations in six African countries. Findings and tools were shared at a workshop in Kenya, and participants enhanced their work of mainstreaming HIV and AIDS issues into the core services of housing organizations.    

 

For NACHU, Rooftops Canada's partner in Kenya, training and awareness building on HIV and AIDS strengthens housing cooperatives' organizational policies and practices helps create safe spaces for people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV).   

 

Other African partners have developed institutional policies on mainstreaming HIV and AIDS, established strategic linkages with AIDS service organizations, developed training resources, trained community educators and animators, and built the awareness of staff and leadership. Some have carried out knowledge, attitude and practices baseline surveys and involved PLHIV in community development initiatives such as herb gardens and income-generation projects. 

 

International advocacy has been ongoing, and stimulated a breakthrough in 2012, when world leaders at the International Leadership Summit on HIV-AIDS and Housing in Washington DC agreed to place housing security on the global AIDS agenda. 

 

A lot of progress has been made over the last 15 years. But mainstreaming HIV and AIDS in housing faces huge challenges, including the problem of declining resources for AIDS work, rapidly growing slums in Africa and the economic and political instability in many countries. 

 

It is once again time to assess progress, reflect on the challenges and envision new ways forward. In September 2014, Rooftops Canada MES Johannesburg, a social services and housing agency, and We Effect Southern Africa (formerly the Swedish Cooperative Centre) - will bring 19 African partners to a workshop in Johannesburg to review the state of HIV, AIDS and housing programming.