CYDI started its HIV prevention programme in Imo State in 2001 and focused on on two questions:Â (1) Where can someone get Antiretroviral Drugs in Imo State; (2) Where can a person living with HIV learn how to take proper care of him or herself?
To respond to these questions, CYDI made enquires and discovered that Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, was one of the first 18 treatment sites for Antiretroviral Drugs in Nigeria (2001). Imo State was selected because our HIV Prevalence rate in 1999 was 7.8%. CYDI then had a meeting with the management and found that despite the availability of drugs, patients did not request for them. CYDI decided to raise awareness about the availability of drugs at FMC, Owerri through radio and TV Programmes on Imo State Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), which resulted in an increase of patients arriving at FMC Owerri for ARV treatment.
CYDI staff also discovered that there was also a need for ongoing counselling and education about Antiretroviral Therapy.Â In coordination with the State AIDS Control Manager, the organization established the first support group of People Living With HIV in Imo State called Association for Positive Care (AsPoCa).Â In October 2002, AsPoCa was formally inaugurated by the South East Coordinator of Network of People Living With HIV&AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN).
CYDI funded all the activities of AsPOCa until 2005, when it secured a one-year grant from Imo State Action Committee on AIDS (IMOSACA).Â In 2008, CYDI also assisted AsPoCa to secure a three-year grant from Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA); a development agency based in the United States of America. Since then AsPoCa has gone on to receive grants from other funding organisations.