With 16,000+ residents, Baucau is Timor-Leste’s second largest city and, like the country’s much larger capital, Dili, the small city is on the northern coast of Timor island. Baucau is home to a national defense forces base, and the CWS team traveled there recently to support HIV prevention info-sessions as well as routine HIV testing. The base commander is very supportive of the CWS-supported HIV prevention program, so his troops were active in their participation during the info-sessions. “I’m happy because our messages were well received and many soldiers took the opportunity to be tested for sexually transmitted infections,” said CWS Program Officer Cristovao da Costa Ramos. “I joined CWS about a year ago to support this work, which I believe is having a positive impact. Our doctors and other health care workers are really doing a great job. I have had the opportunity see the work of my army and navy colleagues and, in my opinion, we are ready to continue the HIV prevention program [on our own now].”
NOTE: CWS has led the HIV education and prevention program with active engagement from Timor Leste’s nation armed forces F-FDTL and with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense HIV Prevention Program (DHAPP) for almost a decade; our engagement ends later this year.
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