October 09, 2013
Today, I met up with two former HIV-NGO colleagues and brainstormed on what needs to be done. We were supposed to brainstorm but we ended up updating ourselves on ongoing HIV related efforts by different organizations. Some organizations I mentioned they were not even aware of. You see, all three of us came from an NGO which initiated the AIDS HELPLINE in the 90s, the MSM project & the OFW project. I even participated in the QC Mapping project where we literally brought out a map and weeded through the alleys and side streets of QC, getting the address and contact details of all service providers that would offer STD treatment and diagnostics.
Indeed, we probably have more than 20 NGOs working on HIV related programs. To mention a few:
- PAFPI (http://pafpi.org)
- TLY (http://www.loveyourself.ph/)
- Pinoy Plus
- TLF Manila
- Take The Test
- PNGOC (http://pngoc.org/)
- ASP (http://www.aidsphil.org/)
The list goes on and on.
There seems to be a constant need to educate people on HIV and AIDS and all these organizations have their own projects. Some projects would include:
- HIV-Ab testing
- Pre-test and Post-test counseling
- Information Dissemination on specific target markets (OFW, MSM, etc)
- PLHIV Shelter Support
- Treatment & Care
- Workplace HIV Education
The list goes on and on.
So my question is: Do we need another NGO or a CBO (Community Based Organization)? Shouldn’t we just reach out to these organizations and tell them what the community needs & wants?
Answer: Yes. Yes.
Yes we need to create an organization to see where the loopholes are. This organization will then hope to reach out to the different existing organizations and hope to work together, coordinate existing efforts and push for a wider reach in the information dissemination of HIV / AIDS.
Where are we at?
We hope to meet with another colleague within the next week to further brainstorm and see where we stand. Assignments were given as to what SEC needs to form the organization and the current list of NGOs and their respective projects.
What’s in it for me?
I really don’t know. What I know is that PLHIV concerns are growing and we don’t seem to have anyone to approach. Oh, let me say that again, I was able to approach a few but to no avail. Some PLHIV claims that an online based organization felt like they were talking to a robot with cut-pasted response from the organization.
There is a lack of empathy to the plight of our PLHIVs and the “affected people” (referring to the loved ones of the PLHIVs). There are issues specific to care management in some hubs, pre and post test counseling in some clinics, PLHIV counseling needs, and yes, even the lack for actual free treatments in some key cities with high prevalence of HIV and AIDS.
There have been legal issues as alleged by some PLHIV that clearly act against the HIV law. The blogspot: http://lastsexofanhiv.blogspot.com/ continues to exist and has been out there for years.
So what’s the timeline?
It may take us weeks or months, even longer, to form the organization. But I strongly felt the genuine concern from my two friends earlier. I felt they were hungry for more PLHIV information despite years of HIV Service. I felt empathy, not sympathy.
What I know is that we’re doing this.