Nicaragua commemorates International AIDS Day

Oscar Nuñez

Chief of Party, Nicaragua, USAID PrevenSida/URC


Red Odetrans (NGO) health care associate giving an HIV rapid test to a health fair visitor. Photo credit: Dr. Yudy Wong.

On December 1, 2015 the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA) and the Nicaraguan AIDS Commission (CONSIDA) came together to commemorate the fight against HIV on International AIDS Day. 

The organizations kicked-off the event with a solidarity march in Managua, Nicaragua. In attendance were people living with HIV, their family and friends; joined by key development and non-profit agency representatives; as well as university students from medical universities. The march culminated with an informative health fair which disseminated HIV prevention health messaging.

  

Left: Booth members debunk HIV myths and hand out fact sheets. Right: Young adults learning the importance and proper use of condoms. Photo credit: Dr. Yudy Wong.

The USAID-funded PrevenSida and ASSIST Project shared a booth at the health fair in which they provided HIV-prevention counseling, HIV testing, and distributed HIV informational materials. Some of the handouts included pivotal information such as: What is a rapid HIV test? What are mutual-help groups? What is the CD4 count? Laws protecting the human rights of HIV positive people, HIV myths busters, as well as information on protections against HIV stigma and discrimination. Further, staff members administered a ‘how-to’ on the correct use of a condom using a wooden dildo. PrevenSida, along with the organization Female Trans Women provided pre- and post- HIV test counseling and administered 36 HIV rapid tests. Over 100 people visited this hands-on and informative booth.

Dr. Oscar Nuñez, Director of the USAID PrevenSida Project, giving a statement to members of the press. Photo credit: Dr. Yudy Wong.

The mission of the PrevenSida project is to promote healthy behavior to high risk populations in order to reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS through: the proper use of a condom; reducing the number of sexual partners; and increasing access to counseling and HIV testing. The ASSIST Project in Nicaragua is employing the transfer of norms and protocols to medical and nursing students in the nine public and private universities in the country.

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