Second Sergeant Pedro Soares is based at the Timor Leste naval base in Hera, about 40 km outside Dili, and he is one of a new group of HIV prevention facilitators who just completed a training program led by CWS-supported Master Trainers. He now uses his new skills and knowledge to offer HIV prevention information session to his peers in Hera as well as in other districts of Timor Leste where navy personnel are based.
In talking with CWS team members about his experience, Soares admitted that despite having joined several information sessions himself, and having successfully completed the facilitator training, the first time he led a session on his own was challenging. “At first, I didn’t feel confident to speak in front of a large group of people and tell them about HIV and AIDS,” he remembers. “The trust and support from the CWS team really helped me; and, it’s not just the information about HIV and STI, but also ways to share this information in a confident, clear and interesting way.”
During his info sessions, Second Sergeant Soares shares information about HIV/AIDS as well as HIV and STI testing and counseling services available to military staff, and he encourages them to know their HIV status; and now, Soares says, “Many of my colleagues have accessed HIV and STI testing services. I’m happy about this and really appreciate the support from CWS we have received over the years.”
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