C-Net+ members receive training in Behavioral Change for PLWHA

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

15 members of C-Net+, the Collaborative Network of Persons Living with HIV/Aids PLWHA underwent a three-day “Train the Trainer” workshop.  The workshop was jointly sponsored by SISCA (Secretaria de la Integracion Social Centroamericana), SICA (Sistema de la Integracion Centroamericana, Programa Regional REDCA+ (Central American Network of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS) and funded by the World Health Organization.

Hosted by Hidden Valley Inn in the Mountain Pine Ridge, the workshop took place June 8th through 10th. The main purpose of the workshop is to expand the development and strengthen technical and professional capacities of PLWHA in Central America which includes the effective participation of advocacy, social control and citizen oversight process in HIV/AIDS while influencing human development and quality of life.

Using the methodology, “Because I am capable – I act”, the three-day workshop took participants through topics such as: Sexually Transmitted Infections, HIV/AIDS – myths or facts; sexuality; stigma, discrimination and human rights; drugs and their effects on PLWHA; leadership and facilitation techniques; crisis intervention and conflict management using interactive games.

Following the workshop, participants will be equipped to serve as first responders to individuals living with HIV or newly diagnosed individuals in their specific area of residence. They will be able to provide professional peer counseling as well as organize and facilitate support groups for PLWHA and conduct home visits.

Eric Castellanos, President of C-Net+ who was diagnosed over ten years ago spoke of the training. “Throughout this training we are trying to promote healthy behaviors, taking care of oneself; stressing the proper and consistent use of condoms eliminating the possibility of reinfection, reducing the number of sexual partners, identifying symptoms of sexually transmitted infections, adhering to medication and adequate nutrition among other topics. The persons who participated signed a commitment to share what they have learned with their communities, support groups, friends and peers. Being a member of C-Net+ or REDCA+ is not synonymous with being public about ones status. Members keep their status confidential while being afforded the opportunities to participate in workshops and benefit from the many services that are offered, including the scholarship program, employment opportunities and the nutritional package that are offered to name a few. What we are seeking to accomplish is the empowerment of PLWHA to take care of ourselves and to be able to help our peers.”

 

C-Net+ office is located at the PASMO building in Belize City and may be reached by calling 630-1900.  For further information on the regional program, scholarships and other services offered feel free to visit www.redca.org.

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