Health Ministry organizes HIV awareness campaigns among communities in RAEOA: World AIDS Day

Health Ministry organizes HIV awareness campaigns among communities in RAEOA: World AIDS Day

National Unit Chief of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, Bernardino da Cruz (Photo Tatoli/Filomeno Martins)

DILI, 30 november 2022 (TATOLI) – The Ministry of Health (MoH) organizing HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns for communities of the Special Administrative Region of Oecusse-Ambeno (RAEOA) to celebrate 2022 World AIDS Day

The HIV Awareness Campaigns aimed to increase the knowledge and awareness of communities, especially because RAEOA is a cantonment area with borders with Indonesia where mobility may affect health due to unfamiliar surroundings that can cause people to take health risks that they may have avoided in their ordinary environments. 

The celebration of World AIDS Day in RAEOA was jointly organized by MoH, the Timor-Leste National HIV-AIDS Institute (INCSIDA), and International and National partners.

Health authorities with partners have decided to celebrate 2022 World AIDS Day in RAEOA as the region is located inside Indonesian territory. 

Head of the Unit of HIV, STIs, and Hepatitis of the Ministry of Health, HIV said it is important to sensitize communities on HIV/AIDS as it would help to increase their knowledge of basic HIV prevention methods including abstinence (not having sex), the use of condoms, and never sharing needles, etc.

“The health workers have been deployed to visit some villages in RAEOA a week earlier to disseminate information on HIV/AIDS. The ministry also organized a mini-exhibition together with partners where HIV awareness materials were distributed to the communities,” Cruz told TATOLI.

In addition to the Awareness Campaign activities, a national seminar was also organized on thursday (01/12) with the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister, Armanda Berta dos Santos, local leaders, and communities.

“This national seminar is important to bring together different ideas and thoughts on how to better prevent and control HIV/AIDS,” he said. 

This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV.” 

Cruz said that the theme encourages people to unite globally to eliminate the disparities and inequities that create barriers to HIV testing, prevention, and access to HIV care. 

“In Timor-Leste, we need to ensure equal access to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for all people. I urged all communities across the country to seek health services available at all health facilities, especially pregnant mothers and those who need these services. Because this would help them prevent the transmission of HIV to their children and their loved ones.”

Cruz encourages communities to use basic prevention methods, such as using condoms when having sex. 

World AIDS Day is a day to unite to help end HIV and remember those lost to AIDS-related illnesses.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Nelia Borges 


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