“Addressing the psychological and social problems of people living with HIV and their affected families is crucial that is why we have trained counselors and peer educators to provide psychosocial support to our clients,” explained Mr. Rodel Navarra, Chief Operating Officer of Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI).
Accordingly, HIV infection affects not just the person’s health, but also the physical, psychological and social aspects. “The client may find it hard to understand and accept his situation at first, and having someone who can answer his questions and concerns, someone who can appease his troubled mind and heart is extremely important,” explained Navarra.
He further explained that since most counselors of PAFPI are PLHIIVs themselves, they can better relate to or connect with the client since they experienced the same. “Mas madaling maka-relate ang mga client dahil wala na yun takot na baka ma-discriminate o hindi maintindihan,” he said.
“We provide learning group sessions and support group meetings to PLHIVs and their families,” he shared. More so, spiritual support is also given since PAFPI holds a mass in the Abot-Kamay Drop-In Center once a month.
Aboy-Kamay Drop-In Center, A Safe Haven
Mr. Navarra shared that to further provide the crucial psychosocial support, clients can stay at the Abot-Kamay Drop-In Center while they are trying to sort out their situations and finally accept it. “The center is a safe haven for our clients and their families. Some clients, especially the newly-diagnosed need a half-way house where they can receive psychosocial support,” he said.
He also explained that some clients who came from the provinces use the center as a half-way house while they are undergoing treatment. “Marami sa mga clients ang kapos sa pera at walang matuluyan sa Manila habang nag-undergo ng treatment,” he shared. The Abot-Kamay Drop-In Center Project is funded by the Union Aid Abroad-Australian People for Health Education Development Abroad (APHEDA).
He added that counseling and the psychosocial support will help clients better cope with each stage of the infection. He discussed that clients undergoing psychosocial support will better respond to the stress of being infected thus veering them away from developing mental health problems. “Yung may masasabihan sila openly at ma-address ang lahat ng concerns nila na nag-cause ng stress ay malaking tulong para maiwasan ang iba pang problems later on.”
If you have questions, clarifications, or if you need our help, please don’t hesitate to call us at (632) 404-2911 / 567-3506 / 528-4531 or send us a message in our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pafpi.org/.