World AIDS Day at Peace Corps Uganda

By Dr. Lily Asrat
Dec. 9, 2016
........"This Day means a lot to me. It reminds me of my pains, my struggles, my fears, my loss, and my strengths as a person who lost both my parents to HIV/AIDS. My dad died when I was 15 and mom when l was 17. The stigma that my siblings and I suffered for having parents with HIV/AIDS still cuts like a knife. Let's stand in solidarity with the many people that have become infected and have been affected by AIDS", one staff shared

Peace Corps Uganda joined the rest of the world in commemorating World AIDS Day on December 1st 2016. While reflecting on the theme: "Leadership, Commitment, and Impact”, staff shared their personal experiences as well as those of persons living with HIV from Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). They engaged in numerous activities aimed at increasing knowledge and skills to improve awareness about HIV and AIDS.

Infectious Diseases Institute Drama group performs
Drama Group from Infectious Diseases Institute performs.

The was part of the HIV/AIDS workplace program that was started here at Peace Corps Uganda in 2011 with the goal of providing staff with most current HIV/AIDS information as well as empower them to become change agents in their communities. The plan is to make this an annual event during where staff members can come together to share experiences related to HIV/AIDS.  In recognition of the importance of developing and working in partnership, this year’s function was graced with the presence of colleagues from the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). One of the most exciting moments was the performance by a drama group from the IDI and the live testimonies they gave about their experiences living positively with HIV/AIDS. The use of drama was both entertaining and educative. The result has been that each member of the Peace Corps staff felt invigorated, equipped and motivated to take on the responsibility of creating awareness in the communities where they live

Staff engaged in activities to create awareness about HIV and AIDS
Staff engaged in numerous activities aimed at creating awareness about HIV and AIDS

With funding from President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief(PEPFAR), Peace Corps Uganda implements HIV/AIDS activities targeting Youth, orphans, and vulnerable children, while also including priority populations in the geographical areas with high disease burden and HIV prevalence.  This occasion therefore offered an opportunity for the program to share with staff its achievements and to demonstrate the critical role Peace Corps Uganda continues to play in supporting the national response and the fight against HIV/AIDS