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Seeking social change

UNAIDS Volunteer Network volunteers provide information at a national university Volunteer Fair. (UNV)UNAIDS Volunteer Network volunteers provide information at a national university Volunteer Fair. (UNV)UNAIDS and LGTB association Arcoiris volunteers during a card game activity with questions on HIV/AIDS. (UNV)UNAIDS and LGTB association Arcoiris volunteers during a card game activity with questions on HIV/AIDS. (UNV)
01 December 2011

Tegucigalpa, Honduras: In Honduras, the UNAIDS Volunteer Network was founded through the initiative of international UN Volunteer Michela Polesana, who is assigned to the office of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The network promotes social activities aiming to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and human rights, and set up a documentation centre in the UNAIDS office.

Since its creation in 2007, the network gradually expanded with new members – including women living with HIV/AIDS, and young lesbians, gays, transsexuals and bisexuals – thanks to promotion activities carried out by volunteers through mass media, universities and schools.

After receiving training from UNAIDS on HIV prevention, human rights and related issues, network members volunteer to campaign against the spread of HIV/AIDS, and to reduce social exclusion and discrimination of people living with the virus.

The volunteers use best practices to educate people on preventive measures against HIV/AIDS, and discuss the best ways to avoid HIV/AIDS, demonstrating how to use a condom properly through various activities.

The Volunteer Network also organizes prevention workshops in schools and universities, and a social group has been created on Facebook and Twitter, regularly updating its members with news on HIV/AIDS and the current state of HIV/AIDS in Honduras and around the world.

"A volunteer is someone who chooses to dedicate part of his/her time to social action and altruism. The volunteer, moved by an authentic humanitarian spirit, can transcend the need for pay with the conviction to work for humanity and seek social change based on a culture of Human Rights," says Alberto Stella, UNAIDS Inter-Country Coordinator for Honduras and Nicaragua.

"The Volunteer Network thereby is a central element of the work of the United Nations Joint Program on HIV and AIDS," he concludes.

To find out about forthcoming events of the UNAIDS Volunteer Network, share opinions or provide feedback, please visit the UNAIDS Volunteer Network’s website.

UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)