Operation Mercy Kazakhstan and AIDSLink International recently ran HIV awareness workshops in Almaty and Shimkent.
The response to the training was extremely positive. The participants were surprised at the stigma HIV and AIDS bring – especially when they realised that they were also prejudiced against those living with HIV. They were encouraged that they can help and support people affected by HIV or AIDS and be channels of hope for them.
Rose said that she had very little idea about HIV when she came on the course. She did not know that it would be so applicable to her, but everything came together, and now she knows how to encourage and help other people. She realised that she benefitted personally from the course.
Hope said that someone she knew who has HIV got married and it was very hard for her. She knew that people with HIV are not bad people but she was still scared. After the training she knows that she doesn't need to be scared and that she can work with everyone. She now wants to apologise to the person she knows for judging them incorrectly.