Sunday, 6 June 2010

HIV Testing at Escolinha de Boa Esperanca

On the 25th May we had an HIV testing morning at the Preschool. The previous week the volunteers made fliers and posters and walked around the Mahaque area letting the community know that we were organizing free testing with CARE International. The volunteers as well as Annie a volunteer from Mozambique Horse Safari arrived at 8am and there were already a few people waiting. CARE arrived soon after with five people to do the testing. Three stayed on site and set up separate testing stations while the other two walked around the neighborhood doing testing’s.

The volunteers playing a true and false game based around HIV/AIDS awareness and by this time there were a substantial amount of people waiting to be tested. Many questions were asked which was very encouraging and many were well informed and talked openly about HIV/AIDS. One woman explained that it is difficult to use condoms and when the volunteers asked why she said that her husband refused to wear one and she was tired of asking him. The volunteers gave facts about HIV/AIDS in Africa and specifically about how it is effecting Mozambique.

Darren and Mirjam then showed how to use a condom with the use of a cucumber. A number of the young men made fun of it but Darren reminded them that it is not a joke, could save your life and therefore is very important. They then offered for anyone to come up and try putting the condom on the cucumber. Sofia (the lady we are involved with in our HIV project) volunteered and gave a speech about the importance for woman to carry condoms as well as men and that a woman should walk away from a situation if the male does not want to use it. A number of young men then came up and did the demonstration however the women watching were a little shy to volunteer.

Karen and Annie played out a comic made by Mirjam about the ways you can contract HIV/AIDS. This was very entertaining and provoked a number of questions and comments by the audience.

Through out the time the volunteers kept the waiting audience engaged in total 56 people were tested of which 6 were HIV positive. If was a very successful morning which the volunteers found very rewarding. Many thanks to CARE International for doing the testing’s and we look forward to working again with them soon.

Written by Andrina, Mirjam and Alexandra (HIV Project Volunteers)

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