TAG = "CDC"
Training cum Forum session with 4 HIV+ personals- 18/04/2011
Date: 18/04/2011 Location; MangShi CDC Health activity centre Personals: 4 HIV+ personal
We have come to the forth years of our Aids prevention programme at MangShi, as time progresses, we do achieve significant results though without any statistical data support. But by empirical observation from the streets at MangShi, the CDC officers do observe that there is a significant decrease in number of sex workers coming from the poor villages. I believe that this is the efforts that we have done for the past few years, going villages to villages advocating the prevention and harm of Aids. The main factors that caused such changes are that the young girls at the villages have:
1) More knowledge of Aids prevention and its harms than before.
2) By the society pressures within the community in the villages, they are refraining from being sex workers, as they become more aware of Aids prevention knowledge.
We also started home visit for Aids patients last year, selecting the group that are living below the poverty line. We have befriended them and hoped that they can help us to propagate the knowledge of Aids prevention within their own peers. We also help them by giving rice and cooking oil to them, easing their burdens in life of their basic needs.
We continue working with the peers this year, having forum with them sometimes. We begin this year with a forum session on 18th April, 2011, inviting guests of honor from Singapore to join us.
During the session, we introduced the guests from Singapore to the group; they are Mr.Yee, a Government officer working in the Ministry of Health at Singapore, and Simon, a volunteer helping the church at Ho Chin Min city.
Ms Lee, CDC officer, briefed the guests the Aids situation at MangShi, introducing on the topics of the CDC roles of Aids prevention, how Aids are spread at MangShi, the present situation of the Government policies in helping the Aids patient, and what Aron and I have done for the past few years. They show much appreciation to us.
We also have Ah Chen inviting 4 Aids peers to our forum session, they are, Ah Rong, Ah Hai, Ah Xia, and Ah Dong, 3 males and 1 female (Ah Xia). All are HIV+ mainly due to drug needles injection while Ah Xia contacted Aids thru’ her boyfriend. They are shy in the beginning with our guests around, but as I tried to let them be at ease and more casual, they began to speak up.
We therefore casually talked about:
1) How they felt when they first know that they contacting Aids, what a dark days for them at that time, knowing life is hopeless and in despairs. They then also shared with us how they slowly accepted the truth knowing life still have to go on. We encouraged them and advised them to make full use of their life to help others within their means, making life more meaningful.
2) The despair that they still face is the prejudices against them in the main stream society, causing them difficult to find jobs. I advise them that the view of society cannot be changed overnight, I cited example of myself that I slowly changed my perception after knowing them, and also after acquiring more knowledge of Aids prevention, before that I don’t even dare to shake their hands.
3) Mr.Yee also encouraged them to be more positive in life, knowing that Aron is trying to set up a micro fund to help them to set up an Advertising company, which is a great help. The CDC staffs also support the ideas.
We talked and exchanged ideas till 5PM, and then we have our guest of honor, Mr.Yee, to give presents to them, a 25KG of rice and a bottle of cooking oil. After the session, Mr.Yee and Simon felt that it is an eye-opening experience for them, knowing the ground work of what we have done with the CDC. It is really a good concept and idea.
Yunnan province has been extremely hard hit by HIV, in comparison with other areas in China, accounting for over 25% of all reported cases of HIV in China. In 2007 the JAIDS reports that there were 57,325 cases of HIV in Yunnan province; injecting drug use (IDU) and unsafe sexual behaviour were listed as the 2 major causes of transmission. Risky behaviours are continuing and while there is a decrease in cases of HIV amongst injecting drug users (from 100% in ’89 to 42.5% in 2007), there is still a significant increase in sexually transmitted HIV, up to 47.4% in 2007.
Ethnic minority groups in China have, in the past, been the most affected by HIV, largely due to their lack of public health awareness and access to social services. In fact, they account for nearly half of all reported cases of HIV in Yunnan province. In addition, numbers have drastically increased amongst the Han majority population, which now accounts for over 60% of reported cases in Yunnan. “It (HIV) has begun to move from farmer minority groups in rural areas to worker Han majority urban settings. The high percentage are now due to sexual contact.” (GoKunming. M.)
Keeping this shift in mind, the Yunnan training group decided to focus on Han villages for our HIV prevention education workshops within our target area in Dehong, Yunnan. Our April 2010 training was in a Han village — the first time one of our trainings was given in an entirely Han ethnicity village.
Photos of the HIV/AIDS & Health Information Center set up by our local partners in Mangshi Town. The centre is located in the middle of town adjacent to a busy market, and in a part of town where many sex workers live.
Our local partners opened up an HIV/AIDS and Health Information Centre in Mangshi during the summer of 2008. The purpose of this office was (a) generally, to provide an information centre for the people of Mangshi to come and find out more about HIV/AIDS and how to prevent and live with the disease and (b) specifically, to provide a safe place for sex workers to meet and receive prevention materials such as condoms, and a safe place to test their blood for HIV.