Standing Together at AIDS 2008


At the 2008 International AIDS conference in Mexico City,
an event the size of a small city, it is a relief to see some familiar
faces. I already knew a handful of the 30 colleagues from around the CARE
world who gathered for a meeting before the conference, but the others, too, were like

Dr. Jose Sool, of CARE India, told of formerly isolated
sex workers who have organized into solidarity groups, encouraging each other
to protect themselves and educate others about HIV prevention. Aliwena
Mologo, of CARE Malawi, described how adolescents, left alone to care for
younger siblings after their parents have died, have joined forces to form
small businesses, sharing, saving, and reinvesting their profits.

In communities around the world, it is the power of
togetherness that is giving people the strength to fight on in the face of this
cruel and relentless virus. A day together with CARE colleagues from
around the globe gave us the same sense of empowerment, as we each do our own
small part in this work.

And then we went our separate ways, to different corners of
the vast convention center, refreshed and renewed in our commitment to learn
and share.

Posted by Rick Perera

Below, Millicent Obaso, Regional HIV/AIDS Advisor for CARE East
& Central Africa, speaks about her personal experiences and how
she got into HIV/AIDS work.