World AIDS day at Kachere
Venture Trust - working together with Malawi Prison Service’s own HIV & AIDS Awareness team - were sponsored by VSO to deliver a World AIDS Awareness day on 1st December 2011. The day was a great success and was supported by other NGO’s from Malawi, such as Music Crossroads and Theatre for a Change.
It was also a chance for the recently initiated Kachere HIV Peer Mentors (two young men per cell) to put into practice some of the training they had received. In all nearly one hundred boys came forward for voluntary HTC testing.
“I am happy that today I have tested negative, when I came here I thought I am already infected. This is a stepping stone in my life and when I get out from here in March 2012, I will go out a complete transformed young man both health and behaviour” - Chisomo (not his real name)
Current rates appear to be stable within kachere at 5%, which is lower than the national average. Work still needs to be done particularly in offering access to independent counselling for those found to be HIV positive. There are plans afoot to set up a 'positive peer support group' in early 2012 so that young men can both receive more counselling and offer each other a support network whilst in kachere prison.
“I never knew how to use a condom and today I am happy that I know and will use this knowledge when I get out of here, I will be able to protect myself from HIV” - John (not his real name).
Upon departure from prison each young man will receive - in addition to a Venture Trust Certificate of Achievement, reference & action plan and t-shirt - a condom and a female condom. At present condoms are not permitted to be issued within the prison.
You can download the full report about World AIDS day at Kachere here.