Monday, May 30, 2016

The AIDS Support Organization (TASO)

            Today when we visited The Aids Support Organization (TASO), I gained a lot of insight and a sense of hope. There is a stigma in Uganda and in some areas globally against HIV/AIDS victims, which is sad to see knowing the victims aren’t the problem and rather the solution. TASO had counseling and treatments in their medical wing to both support and help the patients. In addition, they test babies of HIV positive patients to insure that their offspring will grow up healthy. The testing of these babies are a part of their EMTC program, or Elimination from Mother to Child of HIV/AIDS program. Seeing the thankfulness of the TASO band that sang to us made me really happy and appreciative of the organization. I would love to contribute to this organization in the future especially because it is donor funded, and would love to see it expand from its already 11 centers.

Food for Thought:
1)    How can we/Ugandans continue to decrease stigmas against HIV/AIDS patients?

2)    What are your opinions, comments, suggestions, etc. on TASO?

14 comments:

  1. I really agree with many things that you said! TASO is really a great organization, and it is great to see the progress they are making in Uganda. I feel that the best thing the organization can do in order to decrease stigmas against HIV/AIDS is keep educating. It was wonderful to hear the clients sing yesterday, and also hear them share some information with us about the disease. I feel if they continue doing this with everyday people the organization will make huge strides in decreases the stigmas. Like I said before I really thing TASO should continue to strive to eliminate HIV/AIDS, and continue giving clients the treatment that they deserve.

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  2. I wasn’t able to attend the visit to TASO but after reading your post it sounds like it was very informational. It was interesting to read about all the different things that the organization does, it seems like all of these things would be of great benefit to the citizens of Uganda. I think it is sad that even after all the information that is out there about HIV/AIDS that there is still a stigma about it. I think that Uganda has definitely made progress in reducing the stigma but they can do more. I think that if organizations like TASO keep informing the population about the hard facts about this disease that the stigma will slowly start to fade.

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  3. I think continuing to educate the community about HIV/AIDS is going to help reduce stigma but connecting on a human level will make the most difference. Realizing that these are people with stories I think can reduce stigma just because it becomes more personal and its much harder to stigmatize once you have gotten to know a person. One of the biggest challenges they face with stigma appears to be from religious institutions and I think this will be a difficult stigma to break.

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  4. I really enjoyed going to TASO and I was inspired by the work they are doing to combat the stigma against HIV/AIDs. I think their outreach arm is a good way to educate communities but I think they could do more education in the communities to dispel myths about HIV/AIDs and reduce the stigma. I am really glad we got to visit TASO and I hope they continue to receive enough funding to run.

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  5. I believe that there is a lot people can do to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. It all begins with raising awareness. Have posters up in the schools, churches, supermarkets and pretty much anywhere else to make sure that everyone knows what the disease is and how one can get it. The next thing is to push using a condom when people become sexually active, and also encourage people to get tested. I think that what TASO does is great in treating and giving people with the virus hope.

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  6. I think that this was a very informative visit, because not only did we learn about what the group is and what it does but most importantly we learned about the people it affects. TASO is doing amazing work and is probably so successful because they are using people who are infected with HIV/AIDS to help stop the spread. I think that in order to stop the stigma more groups like this should be created, and also we should try to be more open and willing to talk about it.

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  7. I felt the visit to TASO was very encouraging. There seemed to be a lot of passion for the cause and everyone was working very hard to improve the current situation, however I think there is still a lot to be done. I feel more research needs to be done to provide sufficient evidence that the health campaigns are advertising accurate remedies, and displaying them in an effective way. There seems to be a bit of confusion about whether or not HIV mothers should breastfeed, for example, so I feel the message should be a lot more clear in to the community. TASO is doing a great job with their counseling services but it might be a good idea to involve family members of HIV/AIDS patients because their lives are also dramatically effecte by the disease. Lastly, I feel TASO has the right mindset in regards to outreach and fighting the stigma, but their tactics could be improved. I think a major media campaign needs to be launched with the goal of educating every Ugandan on the specifics of the disease.

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  8. Before going to TASO I didn't know much about AIDS/HIV. I believe that what TASO is doing is trying to fight the sigma and control this disease. By having multiple programs in TASO I believe that they are trying to combat not only AIDS but the stigma that goes along with it. I think the stigma that goes along with AIDS is a hard one to get rid of because it is so deeply engrained with the culture, but ways to try to fight it are getting out to the community and trying to prevent it, by educating everyone about it and trying to stop the spreading so it won't be as common.

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  9. TASO is doing great work to decrease the stigma of Ugandans towards HIV/AIDS victims. Most stigmas are based on lack of education, so the best way to combat them is to continue to educate Ugandans. I wish we would have learned more about how the organization works financially, but we were told it relies on donations. In order to be sustainable, TASO needs to decrease reliance on donations (because donations are too volatile).

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  11. TASO is doing a very noble job for uganda and the whole world as the fight against HIV/AIDS is for us all.The different programs have had a great impact on the patients as some have registered an undetectable virus load, some have had HIV negative babies and others have cured from other related diseases like TB. But as a message from one of their songs is that the patients are not the problem but part of the solution and as such the organization uses the patients to sensitize communities through dance and drama and sharing life experiences. This helps to reduce on the stigmatization problem. Question is how sustainable is TASO?? What will they do without donors? through the talk we had, we were informed that they Carry out charity walks, receive funds from friends and have introduced a subscription fee for the members. In my view alot is still needed to help out because what happens if a member cannot raise the subscription fee, or the charity walks cannot raise enough money????

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  12. The stigma against aids is very revenant both in Uganda and in the States. The best way I can think to end the stigma is to spread awareness of the disease and educate people on it, which is exactly was TASO is trying to accomplish. I personally love what TASO is doing and hope they continue to do great things for the people suffering from such an unfortunate disease.

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  13. Yes. I thank you for all the views published. Visiting TASO was yet another educative day.its true sensitisation messages and programmes are still on;on air,billboards, print media such as news papers and in school.stigma has been overcome through counselling sessions and introduction of strong medicine which surpress the virus. Intelligent people have tried so much to eliminate transmition of the virus by discvoring new medicine, a blessing to us. I credit them. However, the challenge remains with the citizens. There's alot of laxity among them. Someone regrets after falling a victim thats when one remembers that HIV /AIDS is such a deadly disease. Also failure to appreciate our human rights. They are so much mis understoond and hence nobody to tame behaviour. For example among the youth: i have a right to do what i what, go where i want and at any time. This is "deadly" If citizens can be proactive rather than being reactive the better.we need a participartory approach if we are to be successful in curbing the virus.this will lead to sustainability and development in our country. However the visit was so informative and educative. So Take action for your life. And me of course

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes. I thank you for all the views published. Visiting TASO was yet another educative day.its true sensitisation messages and programmes are still on;on air,billboards, print media such as news papers and in school.stigma has been overcome through counselling sessions and introduction of strong medicine which surpress the virus. Intelligent people have tried so much to eliminate transmition of the virus by discvoring new medicine, a blessing to us. I credit them. However, the challenge remains with the citizens. There's alot of laxity among them. Someone regrets after falling a victim thats when one remembers that HIV /AIDS is such a deadly disease. Also failure to appreciate our human rights. They are so much mis understoond and hence nobody to tame behaviour. For example among the youth: i have a right to do what i what, go where i want and at any time. This is "deadly" If citizens can be proactive rather than being reactive the better.we need a participartory approach if we are to be successful in curbing the virus.this will lead to sustainability and development in our country. However the visit was so informative and educative. So Take action for your life. And me of course

    ReplyDelete