The facilitators trained in January continue to be involved with their HIV+ support groups. At a review meeting held in May 2011, the facilitators reported that they have been able to train over 100 of their HIV+ friends and colleagues, focusing on issues such as drug adherence, use of condoms, disclosure and how to plan.
Tom, one of the facilitators, was able to convince 10 of his friends to be tested for the virus. All of them proved to be positive and are now taking ARVs (anti-retroviral drugs). The facilitators also reported the changes in their own lives as a result of the training, with Loice sharing how her planning skills have improved, and Chailette reporting her better adherence to the drugs she needs to take.
Stigma remains a big challenge in the community, making disclosure much more difficult for HIV+ people, but the facilitators are confident that the understanding and skills they are able to pass on are helping people cope better and giving them more confidence. They are keen to see their work expand to reach more support groups in the Mariakani area.
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