PSI/Nicaragua was founded in 1998 to promote HIV/AIDS prevention via social marketing. Since then, PSI and the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) have added reproductive health and prevention and management of gestational diabetes to their Nicaraguan portfolio.
With offices in the capital city of Managua, PASMO/Nicaragua uses targeted research, behavior change communications, product sales and services to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and foster reproductive health. PASMO also operates the Red Segura social franchise, a network of more than 8 hospitals, 20 branches, and 60 clinics in six departments offering a range of reproductive health services. PASMO/Nicaragua directs resources where they are most needed by locating at-risk and vulnerable populations and developing specific strategies to reach each group.
Repructive Health/Salud Reproductiva
PASMO/Nicaragua offers both long- and short-term family planning methods to women of limited resources:
- Long-term: The Women’s Health Project provides intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants, and trains doctors and nurses to use these devices.
- Short-term: Oral and one- and three-month injectable contraceptives are sold through distributor networks and to pharmacies.
PASMO/Nicaragua also operates Red Segura, a network of private providers that benefits both women and health providers. The Segura Network offers sexual and reproductive health services that adhere to strict quality standards based on voluntary and informed choice. Members belonging to the network receive trainings to improve the quality of services as well as specialized instruction on various family planning methods. Network members must undergo a certification process before they can officially join the network. In Nicaragua, the Segura Network has more than 154 members in the departments of Managua, León, Chinandega, Jinotega, Estelí, Chontales and Masaya. The network is also present in Guatemala and El Salvador.
Nicaragua has one of the lowest reported HIV prevalence rates in Central America. However, the country is at risk of a growing epidemic due to social conditions, including multiple sex partners, gender inequality and widespread poverty. Additionally, many Nicaraguans are unaware of their HIV status and unknowingly spread the virus.
PASMO/Nicaragua helps prevent the spread of HIV by distributing PSI-brand Vive condoms and lubricants. It also distributes Body Guard condoms, PASMO/Nicaragua’s socially marketed condom brand. Distribution is targeted to areas with high populations of at-risk and vulnerable populations, such as female sex workers (FSWs), clients of sex workers, and men who have sex with men (MSM). PASMO/Nicaragua is also one of the implementers of the regional USAID-funded Combination HIV Prevention Program, which seeks to reduce the prevalence of high risk behaviors among most at risk populations (MARPs) and people living with HIV; improve and implement interventions to reduce hostility in social environments that promote and tolerate homophobia, stigma, and discriminatory attitudes towards sexual orientation, occupation, or HIV status; and increase MARPs’ access to a minimum package of services, which includes, but is not limited to, access to condoms, voluntary HIV counseling and testing, and STI diagnosis and treatment.
- Offers youth peer education programs.
- Trains staff and provides resources for voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services.
- Promotes sexual responsibility – condom use, fidelity or abstinence – among youth via BCC methodologies and activities.
- Fortalecimiento de ONG que trabajan con PEMAR
PASMO/Nicaragua has just launched a project that seeks to reduce maternal and child morbidity due to birth complications related to gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future. Working with Private Hospitals, the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, Novo Nordisk, and the World Diabetes Foundation, PSI/PASMO is building the capacity of health care providers at the maternal health referral hospital and on GDM risks and management techniques as well as GDM screening and diagnosis. In addition, novel behavior change communications are improving pregnant women’s ability to manage GDM.
Watch this video to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icRk71MIJtc
- World Diabetes Foundation
- Local faith-based organizations
- Local distributors
- Fundación Xochiquetzal
- Quincho Barrilete
- International Planned Parenthood affiliate Profamilia
- Ministry of Health of Nicaragua
- Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua
- Red Segura Social Franchise network providers
- Improving Provider Behavior Change Communication and IPC: Best Practices from the Women’s Health Project
This brief describes the challenges faced, strategies developed, and lessons learned by the Women's Health Project. It also proposes a set of best practices for improving productivity of interpersonal communications (IPC) agents and increasing providers' skills and motivation.
- “The ART of Synergy”: Qualitative Study on Barriers to HIV Treatment Adherence among PLWH in Central America
This presentation includes the results from a qualitative study on barriers to HIV treatment adherence among men who have sex with men.
- Barriers and Motivators to Treatment Adherence Among Transgender Women in Central America
PASMO conducted a qualitative study to explore the barriers to antiretroviral therapy adherence faced by HIV-positive transgender women in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Costa Rica.
- “Sometimes We Take a Vacation”: Qualitative Study on Barriers to HIV Treatment Adherence Among PLWH in Central America
In 2012, PASMO conducted formative research to explore barriers and strategies people living with HIV (PLWH) use to achieve antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence.
- The Effectiveness of the USAID Combination Prevention Program for Preventing the Spread of HIV Among Key Populations in Central America
PSI/PASMO recently published four peer-reviewed articles on the effectiveness and innovation of the USAID Combination Prevention Program for HIV in Central America.
- Cyber-Educators In Latin America
In Latin America, PASMO has employed cyber-educators to reach young MSM with HIV prevention information through online chat rooms. Check out this video explaining their approach.
- Integrating HIV prevention and family planning for a better future
Launched in 2010 by PSI's Central American affiliate, PASMO, the Combination Prevention Program for HIV offers an integrated approach to prevention that combines testing and counseling, condom promotion and distribution, and family planning, as well as other services to promote an improved well-being.
- Effectiveness of Behavior Change Communications for Reducing Transmission Risks Among People Living with HIV in 6 Countries in Central America
This first region-wide study aims to estimate prevalence of HIV-related risks (sexual behavior, HIV disclosure, number of sex partners, violence) and factors associated with these risks as well as evaluate a behavior change communications program targeted to PLHIV in 6 countries in Central America. After 2 years, the program achieved moderate coverage, with 21% of the sample reporting exposure to interpersonal communications (IPC) and 52% to mass media program components.
- Use of a Unique Identifier Code System to Track Key Populations Reached Under a Combination Prevention Program in Six Countries of Central America
In 2010, the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) began implementing a USAID-funded Central American Combination Prevention Program for HIV, targeting key populations at higher risk that are often hidden, marginalized, and mobile. This presentation discusses that program
- Can a Combination Prevention Strategy Reduce HIV Risks for MSM in Central America?
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are one of the most affected key populations in Central America, with HIV prevalence ranging from 7.5 to 11.1 percent. This presentation discusses an evaluation which aimed to assess population-level coverage of specific and combined intervention components among MSM and to determine whether program exposure to any or a combination of components was associated with HIV risk reduction behaviors in this populations.