“Before we had people come to our village and teach us, we thought that we shouldn’t touch people who are HIV positive. Now I know that that isn’t true.” —Anonymous
“Now I know that people living with HIV are not my enemy. I know how I should treat them and that I need to love and care for them.” —Anonymous
For AIDSLink Myanmar Co-ordinator, Jane*, it’s feedback like this that makes travelling for over 24 hours by bus on bumpy, twisty roads really worth it. Recently she trained almost 400 people about HIV and AIDS in North-Western Myanmar. “In village settings, there is much stigma and wrong information being spread about HIV,” said Jane. “Many people believe there’s nothing they can do and that HIV equals death.”
In another village, over 100 people gathered to hear Jane speak about HIV and AIDS. “It was an incredible opportunity to share the truth about the disease and how we as Christians can love and care for people living with HIV,” she said. “Through our Channels of Hope workshops, it’s not just about head knowledge–we also challenge attitudes and stigmas to this disease.”
Many people attended the workshops, and they left with information that could change their lives. Not only did they learn how to prevent HIV from spreading, but they also learnt how to care for someone who is HIV+, and how not to judge others.
* name changed for privacy