Family Health International
United States Agency for International Development, USAID
This Peer-to-Peer guide is an adaptation and a Nigerian version of various training guides for peer educators devel- oped to equip volunteers with skills for sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV/AIDS prevention project. The Peer-to-Peer guide is intended for trainers who will train peer educators. The trained peer educators will, in turn, be expected to take up the challenge to educate their peers on HIV prevention. The trainers will facilitate a process for peer educators to engage in self-examination, learn the basics of STIs, HIV and AIDS, improve their communica- tion skills, and plan for peer education. The trainers will be leading peer educators to think and talk - about values, attitudes, beliefs, risks, behaviours, sex, sexuality and rela- tionships. Peer educators will learn about their minds and bodies and what they need to do to keep both in a state of readiness - and how they can encourage their peers to do the same. By helping their peers to do the same, peer edu- cators are expected to use the peer education approach to contribute significantly towards lowering the rates of HIV and STIs in their immediate communities and ultimately in the nation. By the end of 2001, the Federal Ministry of Health put HIV prevalence in Nigeria at 5.8 percent. This means that approximately 3.1 million Nigerians are living with HIV. Taraba State, with the highest prevalence in the Northeast geographic zone (6.2 percent), is confronted with a grow- ing epidemic. Observers, however, believe that national and state statistics may be underestimated due to several factors:These are the main reasons why the numbers, percentages and cases we hear about, officially and unofficially, are only a few drops of water in the Nigerian HIV/AIDS epidemic. While we need to be conscious of the dead and dying, the main focus of the training sessions will not be HIV and AIDS, but HIV and life. Finally, this is a guide, not a prescription. There are vari- ous exercises and all are sufficiently flexible to be adapted for whatever situation trainers may face. Trainers using these exercises may soon find it impossible to return to the old authoritarian ways of teaching. They will eventually find that they can take any new information and design and re-present it in the form of exercises that are interac- tive, participatory and transforming. We hope that those who use this guide will become, with time, "authorities" in democratic teaching methods. In the meantime, have professionally fruitful training sessions!
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