AIDS Volunteer Abroad Programs
Volunteering for HIV/AIDS Programs Abroad
Since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began, 78 million people have become afflicted with HIV and 35 million have died due to AIDS-related illnesses.
In 2015 alone, there were about 2.1 million new HIV infections worldwide and an estimated 1.1 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses. Though no cure has been found yet for HIV/AIDS, there has been great progress in the treatment of the disease. However, HIV/AIDS remains a major global health issue.
Today, HIV-positive individuals who have access to advanced treatments are able to live long, healthy lives. However, many people around the world - particularly in developing countries - have only basic health care options, with little or no access to modern treatments. In many communities as well, access to preventative education and contraception is lacking, leading to infection particularly among younger populations and those living in poverty.
To compound the issue, stigma attached to HIV/AIDS is prevalent all over the world, which results in poor medical treatment, lack of access to basic and necessary services such as education and jobs, and even ostracizing from one’s family or community.
Now is the time to help. By lending your time and skills as a volunteer for one of the affordable, reputable HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs listed here, you can have a hand in ending this crisis.
What You'll Do as an HIV/AIDS Volunteer
A few ways you can help as a volunteer on an HIV/AIDS program include:
Helping raise public awareness about prevention, treatment, and living with the disease, as well as supporting those affected by it
Providing basic care to HIV/AIDS patients
Fundraising for HIV/AIDS treatment and research
Assisting in research on treatments and cures for HIV/AIDS
Working with children who have been orphaned due to the disease
The work you do will make a positive impact on these communities - and it will be incredibly rewarding for you as a volunteer. As one International Volunteer HQ volunteer said, "The staff members, sensational volunteers and everyone at the HIV/AIDS project changed my life."
Qualifications for AIDS Volunteer Abroad Programs
Generally most volunteer programs you’ll sign up for require that you be at least 18 years old - though some organizations allow high school students to participate (be sure to check in advance). It’s also important to arrange travel/medical insurance, which some volunteer programs offer as part of their package. You may also need a background check, particularly if you’re providing medical services or volunteering with children.
Depending on what types of work you'll be doing, you may need an educational background in that field, or even professional medical training. For instance, you typically have to be at least a pre-med student or even a medical student or intern if you're going to assist with HIV/AIDS research or provide direct treatment to patients. If you're helping out with basic care, community outreach, and other administrative support activities, there aren't usually any extra requirements, but you should always check with your program provider to make sure.
11 HIV/AIDS Volunteering Opportunities Abroad
With Projects Abroad, you can choose among four different projects to volunteer with HIV/AIDS initiatives. Their program in Ghana involves community outreach and patient care, while the project in Togo focuses on educational activities. If you volunteer with Projects Abroad in Mexico, you can expect to take on community outreach and fundraising, and in Nepal, you will provide support for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
Plan My Gap Year offers several different volunteer opportunities in Ghana that focus on cultural immersion and helping disadvantaged communities. Their medical program involves caring for HIV/AIDS patients and raising public awareness about prevention and treatment for this disease.
Cross-Cultural Solutions offers an excellent volunteer program in Tanzania that helps vulnerable people build better, healthier futures. This includes assisting in public health projects that aim to tackle the country's biggest health issues, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
International Volunteer HQ has an HIV/AIDS support program that you can register for right now in Uganda. You can volunteer for a week, month or longer - it's up to you. Another plus about this project is that it's very affordable for travelers on a budget, starting at only $270 for your first week abroad.
From helping children living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe to providing care to HIV/AIDS patients in Cambodia, Love Volunteers provides you many opportunities to make a difference for those in need. Love Volunteers also has HIV/AIDS support programs in Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, and Tanzania.
Global Vision International currently has seven health care volunteer programs that aim to tackle a variety of health issues, including HIV/AIDS awareness, support, and treatment. Locations include Thailand, South Africa, Nepal, India and Mexico.
Frontier's volunteer program in Malawi lets you directly work to fight the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS. A couple of different ways you’ll help include supporting children who have been orphaned because of HIV, and assisting with awareness initiatives.
Designed for nursing and medical students, Reach Out Volunteers' opportunity in Mozambique offers you the chance to learn all about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and assist in raising awareness - this is a great experience for those volunteers looking to do more AIDS work professionally.
Volunteering Solutions provides lots of ways to help those living with HIV/AIDS as well as those affected by the virus. Volunteer at HIV orphanages in Tanzania or Vietnam, or help with HIV/AIDS awareness in South Africa.
General Medical Volunteer Programs
If you’re looking for other ways to volunteer with medical and health care projects, Global Leadership Adventures has great opportunities in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, and Bali, each of which includes the chance to assist in HIV/AIDS clinics (though you may want to make sure it's on the schedule first).
Volunteering Journeys also has four volunteer programs designed for aspiring medical professionals to gain valuable experience - you can travel to Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, and Cambodia, and as part of your placement, you will be able to care for HIV/AIDS patients.
Ready to Travel?
Once you select the right volunteer program for your background, skills, and interests, we can help you get there. Sign up for a Volunteer Forever account today to fund your trip abroad to fight the AIDS epidemic.
Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at these articles to learn more about volunteering abroad: