On the first Thursday of every month, PDH organises a support group (Groupe de Paroles) for patients of the centre living with HIV/AIDS. Some patients are under treatment and others not. The status of being HIV Positive is still seen as something of a taboo, so the opportunity to be open and have some fun is really important for these people in becoming more comfortable with their status and in helping them to realise that their life can still be as full and enjoyable as those without the virus.
Clarification of the Project
The ‘Groupe de Paroles’ starts in the morning with the patients arriving and chatting amongst themselves before sitting down. Then a particular theme linked to living with HIV is presented by the staff. This could be something like ‘Why it’s important to share your status with your family and friends’. After posing the theme, the attendants are asked to voice their opinions and encouraged to ask questions. In this way they can learn and take courage from each other as they share the same mental and physical difficulties caused by the virus. Though this is a very serious and often sad topic there is often much laughter during these sessions. Finally a meal is cooked for everyone and eaten together.
The costs endured for the meeting is for the meal. It costs 1 Euro per person and there are 50 patients at a session, therefore the total amount that one group meeting costs is 50 Euros.
Location: Lomé, Togo