HIV training for people with disabilities
People infected with HIV often experience marginalisation in their communities. Parts of the rural population in Tanzania lack knowledge about the level of infectiousness in specific scenarios. In order to minimize the risk of infection through the safe use of condoms, preventive measures such as educational work about contraception are extremely important.
In collaboration with Martine and his work colleague Fidelis, who both are employed as doctors by Caritas in Rulenge, Kivuko e. V. elaborated a concept for HIV trainings which provide people with disabilities with urgently needed information. In a total of seven villages supervised by Caritas, HIV training sessions were implemented.
HIV Training in Gwensasa
At the beginning of each training course, the participants were informed about the characteristics and symptoms of HIV and Aids. The course was then divided by gender into groups in order to ensure open discussions about sexual issues. In this way men and women with disabilities were given the opportunity to ask questions in a safe environment.
A game, provided by the organisation “Gib Aids keine Chance”, was used to explain which situations in everyday life pose a high, a medium or a low risk of infection. All scenarios as well as measures that protect against an infection were explained in detail.
The participants during the training
Everyday situations were classified according to the risk of infection
Everyday situations were classified according to the risk of infection. The right utilization of condoms was demonstrated with condoms donated by “Ritex”. There was a great need for explanations since many of the participants had never seen or used a condom before. Every attendee had the chance to take along condoms for free.
Community Workerin Yasinta during the training
At the end of each training session, the two groups collectively discussed their findings and sequentially arranged different everyday situations according to their infection risk on a poster. The poster was designed without long texts in order to make sure that every participant, including illerates and people who solely speak the local language Kishubi, is able to understand the content. The poster is now accessible in all health centers of the area. During follow-up sessions four weeks after the first meeting, people had the chance to revise their newly gained knowledge. Moreover, they were offered the possibility to take an HIV test financed by Kivuko e. V.. The doctor Fidelis immediately gave advice to participants with positive test results on how to proceed.
Overall, the feedback on our HIV trainings was merely positive that what can be regarded as a great success. Since people with disabilities are believed to have no right to sexuality and partnership, the participants of our workshops used to lack access to information about contraception. They therefore intensively took the opportunity to pose their questions to our experts.
Martine with the selfmade poster
Waiting for the test results
About 500 men and women in the region could be provided with information about HIV and 392 could be tested through our programme so far. Many thanks to “Ritex” and “Gib Aids keine Chance” for their support: Asante sana!