During the first 2010 Amazon Promise expedition, we have visited these villages on the Yarapa and Ucayali rivers:
Puerto Miquel, Nuevo Loreto, Jaldar, Jerusalem, Libertad, Vista Alegre, Castilla, Puerto Sol, and 28 de Junio
With the exception of the the last two places, these villages are among the first to collaborate with us on the HIV-prevention program that started there nearly five years ago. We have thus numerous acquaintances, friends and promoters who help carry out the program.
Donas Gloria and Leonila, midwives and our long-time HIV-prevention promoters
What we strive to achieve in every village: sensitize the population to HIV/AIDS, provide a supply of free condoms and educational materials, and establish HIV-prevention counselors who work as the community advisers, providing confidential support on HIV-prevention.
The objective for this expedition was twofold:
1. Some of the interactive parts of the public workshop generate answers to questions about the connection between gender-motivated irresponsible behaviour, abuse and violence, and the danger of HIV-infection with special focus on women who are in heightened danger of HIV-infection because the male-dominant societal codes of the area often reward infidelity and multiple partnership. Moreover, we place emphasis on teaching the mechanisms of a safe relationship negotiating. For this reason, we have re-established our acted-out theatrical sketches in which a male and a female volunteer demonstrate how to reach a mutual agreement to use a condom. We have consequently handed out over
3 000 free condoms in the area.
Here are some photographs from the public workshops in which we utilize a series of interactive games on board in order to elicit answers from the public about HIV and its prevention:
Bronia, one of our helpers in the river Yarapa village of Jaldar
Public workshop in the Ucayali river village of Vista Alegre
We have also handed out free educational materials, such as folders with basic HIV facts and prevention strategies for the area, posters, t-shirts and a DVD produced by Amazon Promise with Lazos de Vida containing a lecture on STIs and HIV, testimonies of Peruvians living with HIV, and a correct use of a condom demonstration. In nearly every village there are DVD players now, powered by generators, and so our DVD serves for the continuation of the HIV-prevention efforts conducted by our local HIV promoters in our absence.
2. We have designed a 5-hour workshop for HIV-PREVENTION PROMOTERS, containing the basics of HIV-prevention in the area. Two such workshops were held in the villages of Puerto Miquel and Libertad respectively. 12 local volunteers took part at the training. If they pass their final examination test the next time we are in the area, they will be certified to continue our work in the villages in our absence.
Here are some photographs from our workshop in the community of Libertad. Pedro Angel Peña Manihuari, the local promoter who has worked with Amazon Promise for 8 years, helped conduct parts of the training:
besides the Promoter Training that takes place on the "free days", HIV-prevention happens alongside the Amazon Promise clinics. A team of students from Michigan University and two other doctors from Michigan formed the core of this expeditions' medical team. Thank you for your incredibly hard work! Here are some photographs from Puerto Sol and Vista Alegre: