The Alliance has been working in Malawi since 2009 on the USAID funded BRIDGE II Project.

BRIDGE II is a five-year HIV prevention programme which aims to promote behaviour change and increase HIV preventive behaviour among the adult population in Malawi.

Malawi has a generalised HIV epidemic with an estimated adult prevalence of 11%. Therefore preventing new infections is of paramount importance. The programme is implemented by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (CCP) in partnership with Save the Children Federation (SC), Pact Malawi and the Alliance as well as five local partners.

The Alliance’s role within the project is to supply technical support to improve community based referrals to health and HIV services. We work to strengthen the linkages between health services and communities to increase up-take, referrals and follow on of services and to encourage individuals to seek these out. 

Key to the success of the model is the emphasis on person-to-person referral in the community rather than a purely paper based exercise driven by health service providers. This is an excellent example of the Alliance’s  approach to community systems strengthening which is outlined in our research paper ‘Understanding the linkages between informal and formal care for people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa’. If you are interested in reading this document please email Gitau Mburu.

To date the Alliance has:

  • Introduced a successful community based referral scheme in 20 traditional authorities in four districts; Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Mulanje and Phalombe, through two local NGOs.  
  • Trained 520 volunteers in how to make referrals using the Alliance's training manual (which has been adapted specifically for Malawi and approved of by the Ministry of Health).
  • Produced or updated 4 district level directories of HIV services for the referral agents to use. 

Currently the Alliance’s work focuses on building the sustainability of the referrals programme, and documenting this in order to advocate for wider adoption of BRIDGE II’s models by USAID and the Ministry of Health. We will also support the piloting of a mobile phone referral programme in one district.

You can read more about BRIDGE II here.

Key achievements

  • 45,274 people were successfully referred to services in from October 2011 - September 2012.
  • 520 volunteers have been trained how refer members of communities to HIV services.
  • A model for community referrals has been developed which could be rolled out nationwide by the Ministry of Health.


International HIV/AIDS Alliance

1st and 2nd Floor, Preece House, 91-101 Davigdor Road, Hove, BN3 1RE, United Kingdom


  • People living with HIV
  • HIV prevelance
  • Deaths due to AIDS
  • Orphans due to AIDS

     We work to improve the linkages between health services and communities