Minie @ AIDS Consortium BUA. 02/03/2010
Minenhle Moyo (Churces, Channels of Hope facilitator and Regional Representative for Zimbabwe) attended the session and shared her report with us:
Community Champions - Rhulani Lehloka
Launched Heroes Campaign in 2009 where they encourage prominent people in communities to talk about stigma . Each month a hero is launched and they share their journey with HIV (profile). People are looking for those who will be open and testify in their own communities and not those from other places. Hence this year the focus on communities. There is therefore need to engage communities in 2 parts or levels:
1. Using the AIDS Charter
2. Sharing of personal stories and community dialogues to inform the AIDS Charter.
Currently, The AIDS Consortium is working with the following number of Support Groups in its 3 provinces:
Between March and November 2010 it will work with 9 Support Groups in its campaign as it profiles the journeys of HIV positive prominent members of communities. It will also conduct trainings for these groups.
Questions: What about youths living with HIV in these areas, how are they being engaged in fighting stigma and how will the work be monitored.
In response to the questions, participants were made aware of and referred to the components of the AIDS Charter.
Challenges: Of the 3 provinces taking part in this campaign (Gauteng, Limpopo and North West) Limpopo was not represented in the profiles. It was also difficult to find a black, heterosex prominent man. Their view on such issues is that one spoils their business if they share their HIV status, they will no longer get customers or clients.
When a gay person shared their status, a pastor could not understand it, showing how people still do not understand issues to do with their health and rights.
Group Work on Child and Maternal Health followed. This involved Managing HIV and AIDS symptoms in children, universal precautions, disclosing status to children, issues of infection and breastfeeding, progression of HIV in children and Post Exposure Prophylaxis PEP. (notes provided in previous meeting)
Highlights: New guidelines announced by the President of SA; That pregnant women are to start ART when their CD4 count is 350. Children under 12 years will from APRIL 2010 receive ARV's.
Next meeting: Child-Headed Households and OVC