HIV/AIDS Introductory Workshop/Suggested HIV/AIDS workshop structure and activities/My personal experience of HIV/AIDS

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Section 4: My personal experience of HIV/AIDS

Now you will begin the more emotive process of relating the information that you have been generating as a group to the real life personal stories of the group members. There are three activities in this section.

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How have I been touched by HIV/AIDS?

Purpose This activity is aimed at encouraging learner input and at identifying real-life and context-appropriate HIV/AIDS stories that may be analysed.

Process Think-pair-share:

  • Think: Tell the learners: Think on your own about a personal story that tells of the impact of AIDS on you and your family or friends or community.
  • Pair: Get the learners to pair up. They must tell their story to their partner and discuss any common or important ideas. They must think of how the stories make them feel and write down five words to describe their feelings about HIV/AIDS.
  • Share: Combine couples into groups of four. Tell the learners to share their stories and their feeling words with their group. The groups must look for common and interesting ideas in the stories. Each group then relates shortened versions of each story to the whole class and lists their emotional responses to these real life stories.

Discussion: As these are being related, note up key ideas on the board and probe to draw out important issues and impacts.

Also make a list of all the emotions. Discuss these feelings and introduce the idea of attitudes: How we feel about things and the attitudes we have towards them will shape how we behave.

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Let's explore our stories

Purpose This activity is aimed at relating real life and context-appropriate HIV/AIDS scenarios to the workshop / course content.

Process This activity flows directly from the previous activity: My personal experience of HIV/AIDS.

Facilitated discussion: Lead the class in a discussion of the stories to draw out the key areas. This section is difficult to plan for, as you will be guided by the stories, however you may want to look to the needs lists and the pebble image with its circles of impact as a way to structure your discussion.

Make sure you write the ideas up as they emerge.

Note: Make sure that you probe for cultural and local understandings of HIV/AIDS and related issues. It is very important to uncover any local and cultural myths that may make it difficult for people to truly understand HIV/AIDS. It is also very important to uncover any local/indigenous solutions to problems that may help communities to address HIV/AIDS.

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Why do I want to learn about AIDS?

Purpose This activity is aimed at linking the real scenarios with how the learners hope to address them and to elicit from the learners their expectations and hopes for the future.

Process Quick group brainstorm: Divide the learners into groups of five. Write the following questions on the board. Get the learners to choose one member of each group to be scribe. Each group must think up and write down as many answers as they can to these questions. They must not discuss or analyse the answers.

  • Why do you want to learn about AIDS?
  • What do you hope to be able to do?
  • What do you feel you need to learn about to make a difference?

Report back: Each group says one thing until all are out and you have written them all on the board.

Optional Activity: Planning for Action

If this is a single workshop, you may wish to include an activity to help the learners to plan how they will go about increasing their knowledge and skills about HIV/AIDS. You may wish to link them with their local AIDS or Health Care centre/s or point them towards any resource material they may use.