News overview

The HIV-SAM project reduces health inequalities within the sub-Saharan community

Find out more about our outreach work
Untitled design (61)

Outreach work entails more than merely making a phone call or distributing flyers once at a market square: it requires a considerable amount time and effort to establish trust and work with the target group. Systematic approaches are also necessary. At the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), we understand this concept fully. Find out in this video made by the Flemish Institute Healthy Living,  to learn how we reach out to and collaborate with the sub-Saharan community in Antwerp to work on HIV prevention.

According to Charles Ddungu, an anthropologist at ITM, "the big elephant in the room is the most fitting metaphor for health inequality. This implies that health inequality is a more significant issue for our target group than we realise, and it is not discussed enough.”

Visit the 'Gezond Leven' website to see other case studies. 

What is the HIV-SAM project?

The HIV-SAM project seeks to promote sexual health and HIV prevention among the communities of sub-Saharan African migrants living in Flanders. As in most western European countries, sub-Saharan African migrants are disproportionally affected by HIV/AIDS. Despite being a small migrant community (approximately 60,000 individuals in Flanders, or 0.94% of the Flemish population and 9.43 % of all the migrants). They represent 33% of cumulative HIV diagnoses (2013), making them the second largest group affected by HIV after men having sex with men. Adopting a comprehensive, participatory and evidence-based approach, we aim to contribute to effective “combination prevention”. This includes raising awareness on HIV and sexual health, providing culturally tailored information and education, developing and testing of interventions, and promoting the well-being of people living with HIV.

If you are interested in helping us in the HIV-SAM project or want to learn more about it, visit the website for further information.

Spread the word! Share this story on

More stories