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New to Working in the HIV/AIDS Field? Welcomes and Tips From Fellow Advocates

November 28, 2012


Laurindo Garcia

Laurindo Garcia, Philippines and Singapore

The first question I would ask them is: What are your intentions? And whatever those intentions, just be sincere about them. I mean, if your intention is to help the community, then make it clear that that's why you're doing it, as long as you're being sincere about it.

If it is to get a job, then live up to that. Make it clear. I mean, you need a livelihood. There's nothing wrong with needing a livelihood. If you can marry that together with community advocacy, then even better for you.

If it's for fame . . . then, OK. But be clear.

But whatever it is, be sincere; be transparent about it.

My second question is then just to make them aware of the time frame that's required, that they should be prepared for. We're not going to see the change that we want to see overnight. If we're really believers in community advocacy and mobilization, these things take time. So you've got to have patience and a willingness to kind of have a long-term view. But at the same time, as I've heard many other advocates say, you've got to be prepared to move mountains, too. Because it's that passion that's going to help you get through the dark times.

Those are the big things that I would ask them to think about as they took the leap. But finally, I would give them a big hug and say, "Thank you for joining us, because we really need more people."

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Marty (Jackson, MS) Tue., Jan. 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm UTC
I've been involved in HIV/AIDS/STI education and prevention for 20 years. You have to be a compassionate person and look past people's sexuality. I have been fortunate to work with very diverse groups and individuals in the HIV/AIDS arena and have learned one's sexuality does not measure who he/she is. Accept people for who they are.
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Comment by: Nova S (Pueblo Colorado) Mon., Dec. 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm UTC
Matt this is for you. You are doing good and right getting into the HIV/Aids field. I have been in it since 1982. You will get very attached to your patients and grieve when you lose them, you need to make your heart strong yet gentle for people with this disease. We can always make a difference even if in one persons life. There is always something new evolving with care and research. Hang in there.
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