The HIV initiative of the Community of Sant’Egidio

What is DREAM ?


HIV/AIDS is a tremendous issue in Malawi.

Some 980,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS and 9.1% of the adult population aged 15 to 49 has the disease. In recent years, the number of HIV-positive people and AIDS sufferers has declined, but there are still 27,000 new HIV infections every year (2015, UNAIDS).


Against this backdrop, DREAM (Disease Relief through Excellent and Advanced Means) provides support to improve the health of HIV-positive people and AIDS patients, as well as to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the disease.



The Role of DREAM Centers

DREAM centres operated by Sant’Egidio are key hubs for this initiative.
They provide comprehensive health care including medical treatment, nutrition and counseling.
Sant’Egidio sees its support for the poor as its most important mission and as such, this “free” service is its pride and joy.
The centres boast the most up-to-date medical equipment in Malawi, which is used not just testing for HIV but for diagnosing early-stage cancers as well.
Another risk is for babies born to HIV-positive mothers contracting the disease during birth. DREAM has succeeded in reducing the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Malawi from 7% to 2%.
Malawi offers very low incomes compared to other countries.
Nevertheless, doctors working in these centres are staying to work in their home country to treat people who are suffering.



DREAM has volunteers that we call “activists.”
At the Balaka Dream Centre, there are now six activists. They visit the homes of patients to offer advice and psychological support to patients, talking with them not just about their treatment but any concerns they may have about their families or livelihoods.
At times they will visit patients who have missed a hospital appointment to check on them and, if necessary, persuade them to continue their treatment.
This assistance to patients is called “home care.”
There are many patients who stop taking their medication when their treatment is working and they feel their health improve.
In other cases, they hide their status as HIV-positive to avoid the strong community discrimination, which can delay the start of treatment.
For HIV/AIDS, medication is lifelong.
Stopping medication harms health status and is extremely dangerous.
The work of activists in supporting each patient to adhere to their course of medication is essential.
In fact, the activists are HIV-positive themselves. They are volunteering to support their fellow sufferers. Why do you think they do it?
It is because their lives have been changed by receiving treatment through DREAM after being engaged by activists before them.
 “I am healthy now thanks to DREAM. I just want to show my gratitude.”
 “I want to be an activist like the one who helped me.”
The success of DREAM is thanks to the determination and gratitude of activists like these. ✿


For Help needed for HIV/AIDS medications

A year’s medication for a patient is said to cost 100 euros (around 12,000 yen).
By taking medication, their health improves, they can become active members of their family and community again, and their confidence and hope return.
Your kind assistance is sought.


【Account information】

 Japan Post Bank Branch 019
   Current account 0451482 (Account number: 00170-0-451482)
   Rissho Kosei-kai Africa Fund


   Mizuho Bank
   Nakano branch savings account 1355469
   Rissho Kosei-kai Africa Fund PJ Chair: Takeshi Kawabata