Empowerment of Communities in the face of HIV / AIDS through STAR

STAR methodology is evolved from two participatory approaches (Stepping Stones and REFLECT). It is envisaged that enables men & women, boy & girls, poor & excluded people and PLWHA reflect, plan and act on HIV and AIDS integration with development agendas. Hence, it mainstreams HIV and AIDS by exploring and connecting the pandemic with community life and endeavor such as livelihood, agriculture, education, health and culture. STAR further employs Human Rights Based approach to HIV and AIDS in relation to poor & excluded, women and PLWHA putting power analysis at the center of the reflection and action. STAR facilitates wider citizen’s involvement in HIV and AIDS prevention, access to care and treatment and other services through the creation and strengthening of critical mass.    

It is believed that the human rights perspective of STAR approach optimizes the impact of existing HIV and AIDS interventions on services and commodities that are aimed at preventing and treating HIV and AIDS. Gaining knowledge on HIV/AIDS was the key concept of STAR. The participants sit on a circle (25 participants) and discuss sexual health issues, prevention and how to save lives from the threat. Advocacy and Networking meeting with deferent Stakeholders (Local elite, community leader, GO & NGOs, journalist etc)  was held periodic basis. Link with Same-ideology Project and Organization and sharing deferent GOs /NGOs the learning’s of their lives. Develop and support self-help group & facilitator forum was one of the major work in the project.

The Project was initiated by Action Aid International in seven countries including Bangladesh. Action Aid Bangladesh selected Shapla Mohila Sangstha( SMS) as partner to empowering communities to face the HIV and AIDS.Right based strategies were at the center of all HIV/AIDS interventions to facilitate empowerment of communities to increase HIV/AIDS care seeking patterns from prevention to treatment. Gender/women rights  promotion of girls and women rights is the crucial strategy to address the vulnerability of these social groups. HIV/AIDS policy and advocacy was influencing the larger institutional and policy environment at different levels were wider and big impact in shaping the lives of vulnerable and PLWHA.