According to the WHO HIV Factsheet, “HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 39 million lives so far. In 2013, 1.5 million people died from HIV-related causes globally.” Although much progress has been made in recent years through global education, prevention and treatment initiatives, there remains much to be done. (UNAIDS)

Prevention and awareness efforts often encounter barriers due to cultural stigmas and misunderstanding. Volunteering for such efforts requires patience and cultural sensitivity. Volunteers should be passionate about understanding and appreciating the local culture.

Photo credit: Pacific Air Forces

Healthcare

Help address the immediate healthcare needs of those living with HIV through working in hospitals or clinics. Some volunteer programs place volunteers at local healthcare facilities, where they help with patient intake, treatment and care, or lab work and research.

These projects are often limited to individuals with some healthcare background, as they do require some special knowledge and specific skills.

Teaching and Education

Education initiatives are a huge part of the global effort to combat HIV. Volunteers can participate in this effort through conducting awareness classes or producing educational materials.

This option is available to individuals without healthcare backgrounds and often involves community outreach and group presentations.

Educating local populations about HIV and how it is spread is an integral part of prevention initiatives and can be an exciting, if challenging, project to be involved in.

Community Support

The HIV/AIDS epidemic impacts entire communities. Help support those suffering from the loss and grief associated with HIV/AIDS through volunteering at orphanages, food banks, and other community organizations.

Many volunteers programs engage with HIV by offering their support and assistance to provide for the physical and emotional needs of communities that are impacted by HIV.

Volunteering activities in these programs vary greatly but might include teaching courses or leading crafts/playtime at local orphanages, preparing and serving meals, or organizing and distributing donations.

Sub-Saharan Africa

HIV is most prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the nations of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland.

Several key issues have been identified as key drivers for the spread of HIV in these areas, including: polygamous relationships, unemployment, labor migration and displacement as a result of conflict. (AVERT)

Asia

Outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia experiences the highest AIDS death toll. Almost 5 million people are living with HIV in South, East, and South-East Asia. Transmission routes in Asia differ slightly from those in Africa, and include the following: unprotected paid sex, injecting drug use, and sex between men.

Asia has seen great success of large-scale prevention initiatives, largely those aimed at educating sex workers, and at making condoms and “STI testing” more widely available. (AVERT)

Latin America

Compared to Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, the number of people infected with HIV in Latin America may seem small. However, with 1.5 million people living with HIV, the number of lives affects is quite substantial.

High levels of poverty and HIV-related discrimination have proved difficult barriers to addressing the epidemic in these areas. (AVERT)

  • WHO: The World Health Organization provides in-depth information and statistics about all sorts of health issues, including HIV.
  • Global Volunteer Network: GVN is a prolific network designed to help place you in international volunteer programs, and offers several programs that specifically address the issues of HIV.
  • Projects Abroad: Projects Abroad also offers great volunteer program placement with many locations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • AVERT: AVERT is an international HIV/AIDS organization with a great network of programs and a very informative website. Their website is one of the most-viewed websites concerning the issues of HIV/AIDS, reaching over 200 countries. Look here for a better understanding about the epidemic, and about what initiatives are underway to address it.
Contributed by Maxine Marshall

Programs

Displaying 181 - 195 of 221
ABARKA NGO
Cameroon
OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT WEBDEV Foundation welcomes volunteers with a wide range of levels of experience, including qualified IT...
ABARKA NGO
Cameroon
The core purpose of this opportunity is to research with a local team and within the village, documents, then write, and present...
Buds to Blossoms
Vietnam
Through our Pediatric Massage Volunteer Program, Buds to Blossoms brings international teams of volunteers to Kathmandu, Nepal and...
Global Service Corps
Cambodia
Global Service Corps (GSC), in partnership with local organizations, offers a unique way to experience Cambodia through its two...
Education Volunteers Ghana
Ghana
Volunteering in medical related projects in developing countries, is an invaluable preparation for a good career in the medical...
Community Initiative For Integrated Rural Development (CIIRD Uganda)
Uganda
This program promotes environment friendly farm enterprises that both earn income to local people, preserve the environment as...
Sinakekele Children
South Africa
Looking In - Volunteers help care for abandoned babies from newborn to 3 years old while they are awaiting "forever" families....
The VIKTORY Project
Zimbabwe
Anti-poaching, monitoring and collection of data for all endemic flora and fauna. Educating primary school children and the youth...
Eco-Agric Uganda
Uganda
The project aims to address Pupil’s livelihood needs for income generation, fuel wood, timber, fruit, fodder and other non-timber...
Afro Edge
Zimbabwe
This program aims to provide sexual and reproductive health education to children and youth in the Victoria Falls region. HIV...
Karma Caravan
India
Work in a day care facility that houses HIV positive orphans. The facility is run by a leading NGO in the field of public health....
Kar Geno-Center for Hope
Kenya
Hope Designers is a project of Kar Geno-Center for Hope, Kenya. A nonprofit organization working to empower HIV affected women...
Thuso Centre
Lesotho
Our Fellowship and volunteer program is brand new and something we are very excited about starting. Thuso Centre would not be...
Ladder Ministries Uganda
Uganda
Ladder ministries Uganda is a Christian nonprofit organisation that works with the communities in the fields of empowerment. We...
Palms Australia
Papua New Guinea
Palms Australia’s global development program places skilled volunteers in long-term placements in remote communities to build the...

Recently Reviewed Programs

Martin Sanders
9/10
I had a rewarding and unforgettable time volunteering with Global Crossroad in India. The accommodations were much nicer than I had expected. During my “Cultural Immersion” week I stayed in a very...
Claudya Leclerc
10/10
I absolutely loved being with Maximo nivel in this program, the staff is welcoming and cares about you. You feel the support. My house family was charming and really welcoming. We felt a lot of...
Tudor Mihaila
9/10
Maximo Nivel provides an excellent opportunity for those who wish to seek relevant real life experience, particularly in the healthcare and medical field. Over the span of a week I was able to get...
Hayden Green
10/10
After finding myself with 6 weeks to spare in the summer I decided to go to Africa to do some volunteering. After searching through google and researching a number of charities I decided to go with...