HIV/AIDS prevention and education

This program aims to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS through education projects while also supporting those living with the virus.

Young adults performing in El Salvador

About the program

CONTRASIDA is an HIV/AIDS prevention and education program operating in San Salvador, El Salvador. The project aims to prevent the spread of HIV through education programs while also supporting those living with the virus.

The initiative revolves around a number of community education programs that use innovative techniques to educate the public about HIV/AIDS, including street theatre, workshops and public forums. The street theatre is performed during town fiestas, making the most of existing cultural celebrations to spread the word about HIV/AIDS.

The program also provides clinical assistance and medical attention for those living with HIV/AIDS, and counselling services for individuals and their families.

CONTRASIDA provides people living with HIV/AIDS the possibility to regain or create a livelihood by running microcredit income generation projects for them and their families. These microfinance projects enable people to live with increased security and dignity.

CONTRASIDA advocates to the national government on behalf of those living with HIV/AIDS, promoting fair access for them to government health programs, medical services, employment, education for their children, and full participation as citizens of El Salvador. It is represented on a number of national health committees that advocate for the health and rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, and works to strengthen non-government networks that support those living with HIV/AIDS in El Salvador and Central America.

Teresa from El Salvador

Teresa's story

In 2006, Teresa de Jesus’ husband left her to raise four boys aged between 13 and 20 years old. With no financial or emotional support, Teresa turned to CONTRASIDA (Caritas partner in El Salvador) for help. Thanks to the program, and to funds raised in Caritas Australia's Project Compassion 2010, Teresa was able to turn her life around.

Teresa was featured in Project Compassion 2010. You can find out how she is going in Project Compassion update: Teresa’s Story.


Program details

  • Issues: Women and development; HIV/AIDS; Education; Health
  • Partner Agency: CONTRASIDA
  • Funding in 2014/15 financial year: US $124,000
  • Geographic location: San Salvador, El Salvador
  • When established: 1997
  • This program is supported by Australian Aid.