HASH dashes forward
HASH, the NGO I co-founded with a good friend, recently concluded its first ever activity, which was in partnership with another NGO. It was the first of three activities that the Philippine office of UNAIDS was supporting in order to revitalize the country’s response to HIV & AIDS. HASH helped conduct an orientation event on community-based HIV testing, which is going to be an important element in the country’s response to the HIV epidemic. The event gathered about 50 people, representing the Department of Health, city health agencies, NGOs, and MSM & PLHIV groups from selected areas of the country. Resource persons from Cambodia and China flew in to share their country’s experiences and lessons learned in implementing the community-based HIV testing.
We stayed in Hotel Kimberly, located in Tagaytay, where the weather was cooler and more comfortable and conducive to learning. The hotel was adequately sized; it had facilities like pools (which were unheated) and an organic farm (which I didn’t get the chance to see). I liked our room because everything was tidy, especially the toilet. The food, while not really remarkable, was mostly delicious and tasty. The service was friendly and professional so, plus points there.
The two-day event was grueling and intensive. Fortunately, everyone was genuinely interested in the topics, which resulted in lively and insightful discussions. As in all events, the technical team had to make quick decisions in tweaking the plan we had made before the orientation to accommodate the dynamic flow of the sessions and the changing needs of the participants. Fortunately we managed to slip in a few hours of relaxation during the first evening by having a go at a videoke and sharing a few drinks and pica-pica.
All in all, the hiccups were surprisingly low. It was a productive event; we met all our objectives and then some. HASH and our partners are eagerly awaiting the next activity that will build upon all that was learned in this orientation, towards putting community-based HIV testing forward as one of the country’s means to combat HIV & AIDS.
Posted on December 7, 2014, in events, journal and tagged DOH, HAIN, HASH, Hotel Kimberly, Orientation on Community-Based HIV Testing, Philippines, Tagaytay, UNAIDS. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.