“I have been with the support group both as a leader and a member for a long time. I saw the need for a safe place and opportunity for fellow PLHIV to come together and share their stories,” these were Edu’s first words as we started talking.
Edu talks about the diminishing external support for HIV AIDS interventions in the country that makes a good practice difficult to sustain. Pinoy Plus Association (Pinoy Plus) with Edu’s leadership has been looking for local support to sustain Project Open Hand – Nutritional support for People Living with HIV and AIDS, a way to enhance quality life and sustain meaningful engagement at the national level.
Pinoy Plus discovered that psychosocial support is more effective when provided by peers. Therefore to encourage PLHIVs to come to Pinoy Plus office, there are 2 group learning sessions every month.
Edu says that one of the most effective activities of the support group is the provision of psychosocial support to fellow PLHIVs. Pinoy Plus discovered that psychosocial support is more effective when provided by peers. Therefore to encourage PLHIVs to come to Pinoy Plus office, there are 2 group learning sessions every month. Each group provides nutritional support to the attending 10 volunteers and 40 PLHIVs every month.
Edu is worried that the challenge now is to sustainably provide correct information to the newly diagnosed and provide nutritional support beyond the initial 3 months.
However, he believes that Pinoy Plus will be able to find organizations and individuals who have trust in their programs and services as part of the national response and would gladly provide support for Pinoy Plus’ activities.
Recently Pinoy Plus has a set of newly elected officers and strategic planning has been held. One of the priorities that the Executive Committee would like to look into is one that would enhance MIPA (Meaningful Involvement of PLHIVs) and GIPA (Greater Involvement of PLHIVs). MIPA constitutes the principles that have been upheld as an effective and essential component of many national and global responses. And Pinoy Plus’ interventions and services adhere to these principles.
Edu is also confident that whatever Pinoy Plus started during his leadership will be continued by successors who will ensure that PLHIVs have a place to go to where they will feel love and accepted.
If you need assistance, please contact Pinoy Plus or visit their home page. A Sub Recipient of Global Fund managed by APN Plus, Pinoy Plus responds to the treatment, care and support needs of People Living with HIV in the Philippines.
PS. Photo provided with courtesy of Pinoy Plus Association.