Paraguay – training and including HIV in the university curriculum

vih-sida-universidades-ssm-morelia-michoacan-201020101027In the framework of the project financed by the Global Fund, several Civil Society organizations in Paraguay carried out a series of workshops intended for university students of Social Work.

We believe this to be a successful strategy, since these professionals are part of the concept of health care providers, and at some point people with HIV will require their services.

Social workers play a vital role within the health system, since they directly work with diverse populations that may be at risk to HIV and other STIs. Also, Social Workers currently occupy an important place in political decision-processes, which makes fundamental their knowledge on Human Rights.

The main topics of the workshops were the following:

  • Human Rights
  • Sexual and Reproductive Rights
  • Gender, HIV and AIDS, stigma and discrimination, HIV and AIDS Law n° 3940/09 and its application.

113 students attended the workshop, which exceeded the proposed goal of 100 participants.

During the process of implementation of the project a number of activities have been arisen, such as lobby and advocacy meetings with the National Program of Control for AIDS and STIs (PRONASIDA in Spanish), who has been working with key populations, but never with future professional.

According to interviews with the Dean of UCTD, she expressed her interest of future seminars on these topics, she also highlighted the importance of this project.

Now seminars are part of the university curriculum due to the relevance in the training of future professionals.

Students evaluated as excellent and innovative the methodology used during the workshops. Also, they regretted the lack of time and asked to keep this kind of workshops.

The course was carried out with members of the LGBT community, and individuals with HIV who shared the work they do.

The contents and activities carried out were published in the magazine Sobre el Punto. Click on the following link to get access to it:

Experiences such as these must be evaluated in order to assess their replication in other academic areas, and thus in the work of Social Workers and other Health Care Providers to people with HIV or those who may be at risk to any STIs.