Young mothers living with HIV experience the burden of double stigma. This prevents them and their children form accessing HIV, health, education and other services. The Bloom project works to achieve a healthy future for children and their young mothers (10-24) living with or exposed to HIV in Uganda. The project is an inspiring collaboration of three Ugandan community-based organisations: Community Health Alliance Uganda (CHAU), Joy Initiatives Uganda and Uganda Young Positives, and is funded by Aidsfonds.
Central region: Kassanda, Mubende, Sembabule, Butambala, Lwengo, Bukomansimbi, Goma, Mityana, Lyantonde, Mpigi, Wakiso. Western region: Kyenjojo, Rubirizi, Hoima City, Fort Portal City, Rwampara, Ntungamo, Sheema
Aim of the project is a healthy life for children and their mothers (10-24) living with or exposed to HIV. Underlying objectives are:
- Reduction of vertical transmission for children born to young mothers during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding/lactation period;
- Improved treatment coverage, adherence and retention in care for young mothers living with HIV;
- Improved treatment coverage and outcomes for children living with HIV who have a young mother.
Children and their young mothers (aged 10-24) who either live with HIV or are at risk of HIV infection, with a particular focus on young mothers aged 10-18
1.4 million people are currently living with HIV in Uganda. Of all new HIV infections, 29% were among adolescent girls and young women, despite this group only representing 10% of its population (Uganda AIDS Commission, 2021).
Young mothers living with HIV have multi-layered issues to manage, including pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, alongside lifelong antiretroviral therapy, preventing HIV transmission to their infant, potentially caring for a child with HIV, mental health challenges and often HIV associated stigma and discrimination. Young mothers and their children are at greater risk of HIV infection as well as poverty, violence, exclusion, poor education, and early childhood developmental delays. A high number of children and pregnant and lactating young women living with HIV are still unaware of their HIV status or are not able to start or continue their treatment. Various barriers are hindering them to access or to continue accessing the services they need to live healthy lives or to ensure children are born and remain HIV free (WHO/ UNICEF, 2021).