Training for people with HIV

National

PEOPLE with HIV-AIDS are being trained to become counsellors under a church-led initiative.
A group of 25 people living with the virus from the Highlands region attended a training session in Mt Hagen organised by the United Church of PNG.
The training was funded by the church partnership programme – a partnership between the seven mainline churches in Australia and Papua New Guinea and the seven faith-based non-government organisations.
Monica Joe, 40, from Hela, was one of 25 attended the training.
She was grateful for the assistance she received from the Kupari voluntary counselling and testing centre, run by the Catholic Church.
“In 2013, I took a blood test at the Kupari VCT centre as this was the only centre in my area offering care services to people living with HIV,” Joe said.
“When I found out about my status, I realised I had to do more to sustain my life for the sake of my children.
“I started to take the antiretroviral drugs which were introduced that year then worked for the centre as a counsellor and mentor for women living with the virus.”
She said networks already existed in churches such as youth ministries, women’s and men’s fellowships which could be used to educate the people on the needs of HIV-positive people.
Facilitator Lucy Bogaperi said the training sessions covered basic counselling topics including the need for empathy.

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