For over 10 years, Paul spent his life earning money in Mumbai near the red light district.
Over time, he became too ill to work. His friend took him to the doctor and he found that he is HIV positive. Not much information about HIV was given to Paul, but according to the doctor, he could live if he took medicine for his whole life.
He was not strong enough to make the trip home alone, so he asked his friend for help. His friend was not able to help because he just visited home and could not take more time off work. Another friend took him to the bus.
The 3 day bus ride made Paul feel as if he was going to die. After crossing the India-Nepal border, he took a local bus, which was very tough on him, and finally arrived at home where his family was shocked by his poor condition. Paul’s family took him to the hospital, gave him herbal medicine and prayed for him, but Paul did not tell them that he was HIV positive. His fever left him but HIV would not.
“But my blood is clean! It’s red, not black like my husband’s must be,” the woman blurted out, hours after finding out that she too was HIV positive.
It was heart breaking to hear a myth that had so thoroughly convinced this young mother. She was uneducated and struggled to comprehend our counseling because it radically contradicted the village sayings that she believed to be true.
She was reluctant to listen to me because I’m a foreigner, but she is willing to listen to the Nepali staff that help run the care centre. I’m not upset about this because I hear the knowledge coming out from my co-worker’s—things that I’ve said to them.
Before completing the AIDSLink training, I wasn’t very confident in sharing the information I had heard about HIV. After I finished it, I was more comfortable in speaking into situations where proper education was lacking and where people were at risk.
Those opportunities most often come up in the daily ministry within the care centre or on home visits to people living with HIV.
While I’m happy to share what I know to whomever I encounter, I’m most encouraged to see the women I work with step forward and teach. I enjoy empowering the women I run into, but I love empowering those that I work with because their influence amongst the Nepali women who are most at risk due to lack of education or resources is far greater than mine.
It’s estimated that over 200 people a month are diagnosed with HIV in the Philippines. AIDSLink International decided to do something about it.
From April 11th-17th, six trainers presented the Channels Of Hope (COH) facilitator’s training in Manila, Philippines, equipping 28 participants.
The course is cognisant of the fact that HIV is not only a medical issue, but also a social one. Along with learning the correct knowledge, participants were challenged in their attitudes, and the competency of their responses.
“We would love to see something happen in the Philippines and to expand the work of AIDSLink in South-East Asia,” said AIDSLink International Director, Rosemary Hack. “The fruit will be evident on the ground through HIV integration in existing and new ministries.
"In addition this training empowers those who are already working in the field of HIV and AIDS, and helps them to be more effective. We are continuing to build the foundation of the work in South-East Asia."
Although the training only ended last week, some of the participants have already visited schools and bars to educate on HIV awareness.
The next COH facilitator’s training will take part in Pretoria, South Africa October 17th-23rd. If you are interested in taking the course, please contact us.
"This is, as far as I know, the first time in the history of Myanmar that a local church has paid for a workshop conducted by foreigners", said Pastor Go Chin.
Over 50 pastors and Christian leaders attended a two day workshop hosted by New Life Church and conducted by AIDSLink International.
The church invited the team because they realised that HIV is an issue in Myanmar, which they are increasingly facing, but don't know how to deal with.
During the workshop they heard first hand testimony from someone living positively with HIV, they grappled with difficult issues about the response of the church and came to realise that HIV was not a problem "out-there", but also in the church itself. One participant remarked, "I am quick, too quick, to pass judgement and like to hide from difficult subjects".