MANY researches have been conducted in the country on HIV/AIDS, yet the people living with the virus do not understand what the researches are all about although they play a vital role in supplying information.
HIV/AIDS advocate Helen Samilo made this known at an HIV seminar at the National Research Institute last Thursday where presentations were made by participants who attended the International Conference on AIDS Asia Pacific (ICAAP) in Bali, Indonesia, recently.
Ms Samilo, who claimed to speak on behalf of people living with HIV/ AIDS (PLWHA), told the seminar that they were “sick and tired of being treated like guinea pigs”.
“So many researches have been done but the PLWHA do not understand them.
“Information is very important because most the PLWHA don’t know their rights. There is no voice for PLWHA,” she said.
“We’d love to advocate but we don’t have the necessary documents or resources in place to help PLWHA so where’s the progress?
“Where are the results?” Ms Samilo asked.
She added that they (advocates) wanted to empower everybody (PLWHA) so that they all could participate meaningfully in all aspects of HIV/AIDS in the country.
Meanwhile, representatives from Save The Children’s Poro Sapot Project told the participants about the positive work being done in partnership with the police in dealing with issues affecting men who have sex with men (MSM).
Presenters Nick Evera and Kila Yamo spoke of how they helped a lot of MSM and PLWHA through the project.
They said their targeted group (especially MSM) was being neglected by the very authorities who were there to serve them.
They said so much was said about HIV/AIDS but “how do we help them”?
“We are proud to have reached the people, MSM, we are proud to be role models,” they said.
They said many MSM leave their families and go from one community to another due to negligence and some PLWHA even die at an early age because of lack of antiretroviral treatment services.