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PNTL General Commander Participates in the HIV and STIs Prevention Workshop Organized by UNFPA Timor-Leste

10 May 2019
The PNTL peer educators with the PNTL General Commander, Mr. Faustino da Costa, and the UNFPA Timor-Leste Country Representative, Mr. Ronny Lindstrom at the HIV and STIs prevention workshop organized by UNFPA Timor-Leste. Photos by Roderick T.J. Buiskool/ UNFPA Timor-Leste

Dili, Timor-Leste- Yesterday (09/05/2019) marked the closing of the 3 day workshop on HIV and STIs for the Peer educators of the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL). The PNTL peer educators will focus on PNTL personnel in the field to increase comprehensive knowledge on HIV prevention, including knowledge on the effective means of prevention; increasing the demand for HIV testing and reducing risky behaviours;

Findings from the 2017 Country Assessment on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) in Timor-Leste shows that HIV and STIs prevalence rates are significantly higher than the general population among  uniformed personnel.

PNTL officials from Baucau, Díli, Bobonaro and Região Administrativa Especial de Oecusse, (RAEO) participated in the 3 day workshop on HIV and STIs prevention, organized by UNFPA and the health department of the PNTL.

During the workshop, peer educators developed and presented a work plan to be implemented by them in their municipalities during the second semester of 2019. Some activities include sessions on HIV prevention and transmission, condom use, HIV testing and family planning methods. The knowledge gained from these activities is to be disseminated to their peers in the PNTL, who are serving in different parts of their respective districts.   

 

Challenges and Way Forward

The Peer educators shared some challenges that they have to overcome, such as the sensitivity of the subject within their communities or the fact that they need more support in tackling these issues from their peers.

In the closing remarks, Mr. Ronny Lindstrom said that“being a peer educator is quite a challenging job. There are times that people are not open to the information you are trying to pass on, or you feel you do not have the support from your peers. But experience tells me that time and repetition makes a difference in changing behaviours”.

With the workshop it is hoped that the PNTL will be able to disseminate important information regarding HIV and STIs prevention and means of transmission to its members and the whole community as a whole. With the increase in knowledge, the stigmatization and discrimination of the people living with HIV is hoped to be reduced. 

 

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UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every  childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA reaches millions of women and young people in 155 countries and territories, including Timor-Leste.