Stories of Change

Ana Monica da Silva.

CWS's HIV prevention education and action program reached 1,970 people in 11 communities directly in the last year. It reached hundreds more in cities where World AIDS Day events were held.

Spreading the word

Ana Monica da Silva is married to a Timor Leste soldier, and they live in a military housing complex in Baucau, which is the country’s second largest city with about 16,000 people. In September, Ana joined 25 others for an HIV prevention information-sharing session led by Pvt. Monica Freitas Belo. Pvt. Belo  had earlier joined a CWS-supported Training of Trainers workshop so she could facilitate HIV information-sessions for her fellow soldiers and their families.

“The first time I heard much about HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections was a year ago,” Ana recalled, “and I got my information from the media and from a CWS-published brochure. I’m happy that our army now has volunteers like Pvt. Belo to share details about this important information with soldiers and our families. More spouses now have access to this information, as do their siblings and our older children – not just about HIV and STI, but also about sexual and reproductive health, which is great.” And, “since some of my neighbors have not heard this important information yet, I have started to share what I now know with them to help them protect themselves and others from HIV and other STI, too.”