Guatemala, Central America’s largest country, accounts for almost one-sixth of the entire region’s HIV-positive population. As of 2007, an estimated 59,000 people are living with HIV in the country, and 3,900 deaths have occurred due to AIDS.
Given this, TeachAIDS has recently expanded its efforts in Guatemala with the partnership of the United States Peace Corps and support from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). PEPFAR’s enhanced alignment with the United States Peace Corps has helped expand the opportunity to work in HIV/AIDS education and prevention. The Healthy Homes Program has been used as part of the Peace Corps Guatemala’s strategy to build capacity within the Ministry of Health HIV/AIDS prevention program, which already includes health education as well as the construction of improved sanitary infrastructure. These prevention strategies have been implemented in order to address Guatemala’s concentrated epidemic, which accounts for one-sixth of all HIV infections in Central America.
Peace Corps Volunteers will collaborate with the Ministry of Health to plan and deliver workshops to healthcare professionals working in HIV/AIDS prevention in Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, San Marcos, and Totonicapán. Doctors, nurses, social workers, and rural health technicians employed by the state will receive training from Peace Corps Guatemala’s Volunteers that focuses on approaches to HIV/AIDS education at the community level. Armed with new HIV education strategies, health professionals will then return to their respective municipalities to incorporate these techniques in their ongoing prevention work. Over 500 conference participants will receive HIV prevention education from our TeachAIDS Spanish Animated Software.
TeachAIDS is proud to support the United States Peace Corps Guatemala in its efforts to build capacity to fulfill the Millennium Development Goal of eradicating HIV/AIDS.