What comes to your mind when you hear about HIV/AIDS?
When I was at grade-6, I was introduced about HIV/AIDS as a fatal communicable disease. Back then we were only informed about its symptoms and the fact that it was not curable. This concept was stuck in my mind till I reached grade 12. There, I got to know that this disease, though not curable, the life expectancy of the person suffering from it could be extended by introducing him/her to ART (Antiretroviral Therapy).
My journey about getting informed and informing others kept moving forward as I joined ‘We’ for Change in 2014 as a volunteer. While I was volunteering there, I got a huge opportunity to work in the project named ‘Outloud’. ‘Outloud’ is a youth initiative, which aims to intervene healthy behavior pattern of 700 mobile transportation workers of 15 different districts of Nepal. Targeted transportation workers receive training and in turn become advocates of safe sex and HIV stigma reduction, affecting thousands of people in Nepal. In this project, I was given the responsibility to work as the trainer for these transportation workers about HIV/AIDS and safe sex practices. Before I looked myself as a trainer, I needed to make sure that I was educated enough to train them. So, ‘We’ for change arranged a workshop where we were given detailed knowledge about HIV/AIDS and team building exercisers to encourage the participants. From December 2015 the project began and till date our team has trained 300+ transport workers from 6 different district of Nepal.
Today, thinking about being a part of this project gives me a blissful feeling as I was chosen to provide knowledge to thousands of unaware population out there. The thing that makes me proud is the positive attitude that the participants show during and after the training. Being involved with them and exchanging knowledge that they could pass to others makes me realize that the dream I see to change the world is making its path through our efforts. Thus, now I believe that, if people putting their shame aside, try and gather knowledge to change their behavior and attitude regarding issues such as HIV/AIDS, sooner or later the face of our country will take a turnover towards positive side regarding the status of awareness among people about such significant issues.