So far we have nine common principles which have emerged from the experiences. Are these relevant in your experience. Have you expeiences already shared or you are able to share other experiences which have different principles. A "principle" is a message that you can take from a story or experience. Try to frame the principle in the for If...(some action takes place)...then..... (this will be the result).

1. If you tap into the culture of young people they will apply what they know already

2. When individuals become role models, they inspire and empower their community

3. Involving religious leaders is key to make HIV/AIDS programmes a success

4. If you have clear information, support and access to knowledge, you can be brave dealing with your HIV status

5. If you convince communities that HIV is their problem, they will start taking care

6. If local people transfer the information in their own community, they prevent AIDS in their community

7. If you accept yourself, then you accept others

8. When we start sharing and discussing about the HIV infection then we are all able to understand it better

9. If you involve leaders traditions and policies can be revisited

Are these relevant in your experience. Have you experiences already shared or you are able to share other expeiences which have different principles. A "Principle" is a message that you can take from a story or experience. Try to frame the principle in the for If...(some action takes place)...then (this will be the result).
A "Common Principle" is a principle derived from more than on experience or situation.

Add your Principles and Common Principles here. Reference the story - on the blogs or write them here. If you have a comment on the existing Common Principles then share your experience.

As we grow this shared view of common principles we will learn together how to deal with Acknowledgement and Recognition, take a step towards becoming AIDS Competent and help others to do so too.

Laurence & Geoff


In this forum, we will take three steps towards a global knowledge asset on Acknowledgement & Recognition:

1. We define a common vision of success in terms of acknowledgement and recognition (level 5).
2. We share our experience in addressing acknowledgement and recognition of HIV as an issue that concerns us, our community
3. We discuss and define the common principles emerging from our individual experiences
Therefore, as a first step, we now invite you to share with friends on this forum: what is success in terms of acknowledgement and recognition of HIV? What is you personal dream? What is the ‘dream’ situation for our own community? What will an AIDS Competent community have in place in terms of acknowledgement and recognition?

Please share your vision or dream here of what a great community acknowledging and recognizing the issue would be like, look like, sound like or feel like.

To start you off here is an example of what was dreamed by participants at the 2009 knowledge fair in Chiang Mai:
'There is no stigma and discrimination. HIV/AIDS is considered a normal disease and everybody uses their strengths to respond. Positive people set the example. People can live together as human beings. Everybody knows their status and can share it with others. Everybody is concerned and mobilises resources for prevention and care (we act together).'

If you have an example of acknowledgement and recognition that may inspire others please share it as a blog. Tag it 'Acknowledgement' so others can find it easily.

We look for ward to your dreams!

Laurence and Geoff

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My dear Laurence,
I very much agree with that Thai person you mention. There where there is love I am sure there is less HIV. Because love is about care, respect, understanding, communicating, appreciation... love is also about letting go, setting free, detachment.

When real love is in place, I am sure that HIV is not a problem; it can still exist as a disease but it is no more a problem.

So love to you, out there in Kigali

Thanks for sharing this inspiration. I think we can include another principle, something like - 'If we appreciate life then we are in better shape to deal with HIV.'

Hi Geoff,
Yes, I should say that such a statement would very much reflect what I have learnt that made me become much more aware of the reality of HIV.

I would like to hear if there are other stories that add to this principle. Or others that illustrate other principles.


Dear Geoff and Laurence,

I would like to borrow from from the Taoist concept of Wu-wei (the state of effortless effort) "Wu Wei" means natural action - as planets revolve around the sun, they "do" this revolving, but without "doing" it; or as rivers flow, they "do", but without "doing". At the same time it is not mere passivity. Rather, it is the experience of going with the flow. To breathe, you must draw the breath. However, all of these actions are so natural they occur automatically.

An AIDS competent community would be one where response to HIV is natural, spontaneous and effortless. Disclosure of status is prerogative of a PLHIV just as would be of a person suffering from cancer, TB or diabetes.When people share their HIV status it does not hinder their access to services or treatment or brings in stigma and discrimination. Also people recognise their vulnerabilities and respond to address them just as they brush their teeth or caution a child about crossing a road. It is an intrinsic part of their lives.I recall a community visit in Karnataka with NGO Samaraksha where a woman shared something interesting with me. “My husband uses condoms just as I put lipstick everyday.”


La reconnaissance est réelement le point de depart d'une communauté qui est determinée à vaincre le sida. Reconnaitre qu'on est concerné à ce problème car on le vit dans notre quartier ou commune ou ville bref dans notre communauté,réconnaitre qu'on est infecté ou affecté, reconnaitre qu'on a la force qui pourra nous aider à avancer ou à progresser, réconaitre qu'on doit réver un monde positif, un monde hors du sida, réconaitre que tout le monde a le même droit et étant humain, on est appelé à vivre ensemble, à apprendre des autres et de donner aux autres, que les OEV et PVV ont droit à se retrouver des membres précieux de la communauté...C'est en tout cas, ça, le depart de notre victoire, laisser les places, les espaces pour les autres, qui ont aussi quelques choses à partager avec nous, qui ont une pierre à mettre pour la construction d'une nation.Que chacun se dise "je me réconnais et je réconnais que les autres aussi ont...
Il y a par exemple, la situation de cette petite fillette de 8 ou 9 ans "Bellefie" qui est OEV et a le sida, mais accusée d'être sorcier, elle risque d'être rejetée, mais, elle vit chez sa grand-mère, sa situation risque de partager la famille en deux, car , certains estiment que Bellefie doit être interné dans cette église pour être soignée, et être loin de sa famille, proposition refusée par d'autres qui acceptent d'assister Bellefie à être prise en charge.
Dear friends,

A few of us had a meeting last Monday to discuss the Knowledge Asset about Acknowledgement and Recognition. Geoff asked us to think about what advice we would give to others to improve on the practice of Acknowledgement.

We brainstormed and shared the following ideas:

- If you openly discuss the issue of HIV as a couple, or with family, friends, or community, then you will be able to acknowledge that HIV concerns you and you will address concerns at an early stage

- If you have information then you will be able to act

- If you reflect deeper on your own situation vis-a-vis HIV you are in a better position to know your own vulnerabilities and act on them.

- If I acknowledge and recognize HIV is an issue for me, and share that, then others will acknowledge and recognize it is an issue for them too.

- If you show a human face of HIV you will be able to illustrate that this concerns all of us.

- If PLHIV open up when you meet and share with them, then you will feel concerned about it for your own life.

- When you meet people living with HIV/AIDS on a personal or social level, you will understand the extent to which you acknowledge and recognise the reality of HIV/AIDS.

I grouped the three last ones together because they are quite similar. I propose the following principle to group them:

When you meet people living with HIV on a human and personal level, you will understand that HIV concerns all of us.

We’d like your input. Do these principles summarize the practice of ‘Acknowledging and Recognising the issue of HIV/ AIDS or is there something more?

Now, let us look again at the principles we had already in the knowledge asset and compare them with this set of principles. Can we group some of the principles? Are there some we have forgotten?

Best regards

Dear all,

I must say that i have been working with Antoine and Aicha and we have both stories completed. I have talked with both and summarized the conversation so that they could read the story and be able to make the necessary corrections to it.

At this point, I have asked both to post it in ning. At the same time, I have offered to translate the stories from French into English (does anybody want to do that?) so that we can have both languages to work with.

I know that Antoine is going to be travelling with little access to email, but I asked him to post his story before leaving (I just jope that my mail have catched on him).

I can add two more principles attached to Antoine's story:

Quand on aime et apprecie les personnes vivant avec le VIH, la maladie devient un probléme de la communauté. - When we love and appreciate people living with HIV, the community takes ownership of the problem.

Lorsque nous discutons du VIH dans la famille, ça devienne une réalité dans notre vie. - When we discuss HIV within the family it becomes a reality in our lives.

Si on partage l'expérience et on passe après à l'action, on peut améliorer l'acceptation. - If we share experiences and we translate them into action, acceptation can be improved.

This is just a proposal so that we can see which is the principle that can best apply to Antoine's story.

Entre deux cultures

J’ai eu un problème de santé, le HPV c’est un virus qui aujourd’hui tue beaucoup de femme dans le monde quand on le découvre trop tard.
Je ne pouvais pas en parler à ma mère car je ne pouvais assumer ce que je pensais qu’elle allait me dire. Car moi-même, je me sentais responsable de ma maladie ce fût une épreuve difficile.

La raison de ma culpabilité était qu’autant que femme, avoir cette maladie n’était "pas normale" selon le point de vue de la culture magrébine/musulmane. Et ça m’empêchait de m’accepter et d’assumer ma vie, de vivre ce que je suis.

Cette épreuve m’a permis de me rendre compte que je n’arrivais pas à me situer, je vivais entre deux cultures sans pouvoir trouver ma place parce que si j’allais trop dans la culture européenne, je me sentais très mal et très coupable mais quand j’allais trop dans l’autre, dans mon côté maghrébin/musulman, je me sentais tout aussi mal.

Je me trouvais à un niveau tellement bas que je me suis dit « c’est normal de s’évaluer d’une manière si négative ? C’est normal de se sous-estimer ainsi ? »

Je me suis dis que la vie ne devait pas être ainsi et que je devais m’éveiller pour éliminer cette souffrance…C’est à ce moment-là que j’ai fait ma propre autoévaluation face à ma vie, face a ma culture et à ma position comme musulmane et arabe vivant dans un pays européen et aussi face au fait que je n’arrivais pas à gérer ma vie affective.

Le processus est douloureux car tout ce que je croyais s’écroulait, mon monde était pleins d’illusions mais c’était la voie à suivre pour je commence à mieux m’accepter pour arriver vers le bonheur.

La femme dans certaines communautés comme la mienne est souvent soumise à des tensions pour contrôler sa vie affective. Je ne pouvais pas accepter ce contrôle parce que c’est donner le pouvoir aux autres de gérer ma vie…l’esprit et le corps souffrent à force de sacrifier ses rêves, à force de sacrifier ses choix aux autres, à force de donner le pouvoir au autres.

Cette maladie que j’ai eue a été révélatrice, mon corps m’a parlé heureusement j’ai pu en guérir car je pensais ne plus pouvoir avoir d’enfants.
Je me suis dit que j’ai encore une chance de reprendre le pouvoir sur ma vie. Pour faire son chemin vers le bonheur, parfois il faut beaucoup souffrir toucher quelque chose que je pouvais perdre.
Ma souffrance m’a permit de connaître le bonheur, ce qui m’a permis de vaincre cette culpabilité.

Le travail dans la communauté
Ma vision de moi-même était tellement mauvaise et je me sentais tellement coupable que je mettais la faute sur la communauté. J’en voulais à ma mère, j’en voulais à mes copines, j’en voulais à toutes les femmes et aussi à tous les hommes de ma communauté parce que je pensais qu’ils étaient la cause de ma souffrance. Je leur donnais le pouvoir de gérer ma vie.
En suivant mon chemin personnel j’ai compris que c’est ma responsabilité, que je devais garder le pouvoir pour moi.

Aussi, les pratiques d’autoévaluation appliquées de manière individuelle m’ont beaucoup aidées pour être « compétente face à la vie ».

J’ai décidée de mettre aussi en application l’approche dans ma communauté, spécifiquement avec le groupe de ma mère.

Ce fut un grand défi pour moi car j’avais encore des sentiments négatifs vis-à-vis de ma communauté et en tant que facilitatrice/ point focal de cette visite SALT, je devais dépasser cet état négatif. Je pensais : « elles ne voudront pas parler du VIH, elles sont trop fermées ».

Mais grâce aux autres facilitateurs, j’ai pu canaliser mes émotions et trouver des énergies positives dans le groupe. Ce fut une révélation, j’ai changé ma vision et ma perception de ma communauté et la force dont j’ai pu retirer de ce groupe fut l’inclusion.

L’enseignement de cette visite SALT est que l’acceptation de soi permet l’acceptation des autres, notre perception change pour trouver le positif de ce qui nous entoure.

Si ma perception était restée sur le sentiment négatif jamais je n’aurais pu trouver les forces dans ma communauté en effet les tabous, le déni, certains aspects culturels sont des barrières mais elles ne sont pas insurmontables.

Un an plus tard lors d’une visite SALT auprès de leaders religieux à Chiang Mai j’ai appris qu’il faut accepter ce que ressent une communauté et qu’il faut la laisser avancer à son rythme et qu’on ne devait pas forcer les discussions à propos du VIH et que la communauté elle-même viendrait vers la discussion.

Je suis encore en voix d’apprentissage vers le chemin de l’acceptation qui mène vers la RECONNAISSANCE et j’espère qu’il en sera ainsi pour ma communauté en tout cas cette expérience m’a amenée à accepter ma communauté.
Chers collègues, voici l'expérience de L'UCOP+

La construction d’une perle de savoir au sein du Réseau Congolais des Personnes vivantes avec le VIH/SIDA.

L’UCOP+ a construit sa perle du savoir qui a porté sur les critères de réussite d’une activité génératrice de revenue « une AGR » pour 19 OAC(1)
Ils se sont basés sur ces 3 critères à savoir :
 La rentabilité économique c.à.d. PV-PR= B
 La rentabilité sociale c.à.d. les bénéfices réalisés permettent de prendre en charge d’autres membres (Salaires, prise en charge médicale et nutritionnelle) et les frais de fonctionnement (le paiement de frais de transport pour les membres qui sont affectés à la gestion quotidienne de l’AGR ainsi que d’autres frais administratifs)
 L’utilisation des outils de gestion.
Quatre OAC (OAC SECAV, OAC OJVS, OAC AMAV-Congo et OAC BOMOYI) ont réalisées la rentabilité économique et sociale grâce à :
Une bonne étude du marché,
 Une bonne étude de faisabilité,
 Une de rentabilité et la notion du risque,
 Un bon choix de l’activité,
 L’utilisation régulière des outils de gestion et comptable (tableau de vente journalier, fiche de stock par produit, fiche de stock emballage, bon de sortie, bon de entré, livre de caisse, journal de mouvement, une balance détaillé, etc.)
rêve : que l’AGR soit viable, rentable et d’avoir un compte bancaire qui sera régulièrement approvisionné.

Si nous sommes formés alors nous seront à mesure de bien gérer.
l’OJVS pour exceller ; elle se appuyer sur les principes suivants :
-Gestion des risques ;
-Bonne étude du marché ;
-Adaptation l’activité. OJVS
Tél : O99 812 44 79
Av ; Idiofa, n° 6 ; quart. 2 ; com. De Masina
E-mail :

Si nous ne thésaurisons pas l’argent alors nous serons à mesure de garder la valeur de notre capital initial et nous serons à l’abri du vol.
- SECAV à Réinvestir ses bénéfices en achetant la marchandise ainsi que les emballages récupérables. SECAV
Tél : 081 500 60 62
Av. Djolu, n° A 8 ; quart. Matonge ; com. Kalamu.
E-mail :
Si nous faisons une bonne étude du marché alors notre AGR sera économiquement et socialement rentable. -Nos produits seront bien vendus sur le marché parce que nous avons consulté les membres de la communauté avant le lancement des activités. AMAV-Congo
Tél: 081 26 20 405
Av. De l’Ecole, n° 8
La perle du savoir dégagée lors de ce partage d’expérience est la suivante :
Knowledge Asset meeting Skype 17 Sept 2009

4 participants MariJo, Phil, Marlou, Geoff

As a starting point we used Geoff’s attachment grouping the initial 9 principles on the Knowledge Asset which came from the Chiang Mai K fair (in Blue on the diagram) with the ones we brainstormed at the last meeting, and linked those to discussions and additions since.

6 of the 9 Principles do tie with the other principles we brainstormed, and three don’t. Of those three, two are about involving leaders so we can add a single principle embracing those two. The other is about convincing communities it is their problem. Geoff would rather turn that around and link it to the one about communities openly discussing and addressing concerns (After all it is not being done to them.) We discussed some of these and tried to find words that embrace the clusters we have. We reflected the process we were going through.

Phil suggested how he uses knowledge assets – “to help me think of things I could do to improve in this practice, or if I was facilitating, things others could do.”

Marlou suggested rationalising the language so we were consistent in our use of “I”, “we” or “you”. We settled on “we” to reflect how the assets were to be used – to stimulate community action.

We agreed that it did not have to be an either/ or choice. We could have sub-principles to a generality.

Let’s have your comments on the following amendments as some of these principles have been refined following the meeting:

Principle 1. Elevate “If you tap into the culture of young people they will apply what they know already.” Further discussion led us to recognise this was not just young people it applied to. This becomes “If we tap into the culture of people they will apply what they know already.”

Principle 3 & 9. “If we involve religious and other leaders in the discussion then traditions and policies can be revisited.”

Principle 4 & 6. “If we share accurate, timely information in our community then we can have the knowledge and courage to act to prevent the spread of HIV.”

Principle 7. becomes “If we accept ourselves and our predicament then we can accept and support others more readily.”

Principle 8. “If we openly discuss the issue of HIV as a couple, or with family, friends, or community, then we can acknowledge that HIV concerns us and we can address it.”

We stopped at this point to reflect on our process. Was it working? Were we comfortable with it? Is this an appropriate process?

We discussed who should be involved. At knowledge fairs the principles are agreed by the group sharing their stories. It would be good if all the story contributors developed the common principles together. This is not always practical, and as the number grows becomes unwieldy.

Phil offered that he trusts the group who are doing it. Further discussion led to the insight that while it requires trust, the process also helps to develop trust amongst the Ning community. We must make more effort to involve a representation from GLIA and other African programmes to ensure they are happy with the common principles.

We also agreed that if we changed a principle, or added a story to a principle, it will be respectful and a good process to ask the person who shared the story if they are happy with the principle their story is connected to.

We discussed whether the principle for action was compulsory. Someone suggested “It is not a law, does it help me?” So we concluded we can trust a group of others to come up with the principle but we can verify for ourselves whether we will apply it. Trust but verify.

Remembering Gaston’s usual challenge, the real test is if others find the principles useful to guide their actions. How do we get the feedback that the principles are useful to build competence? We will discuss this at a future meeting.

We propose 6th October at the same time 3:30 pm European time for the next meeting. Can you indicate if this is suitable?

This note will be posted on the discussion forum so you can share your comments directly with everyone.
Dear Geoff,

Thanks for sharing the minutes of the meeting, very helpful for those of us who where not there. I will be available for the next meeting, the timing is fine.
I agree with all the points discussed. Great progress!

One small comment: what is predicament? Can we use a more simple word and in general be aware of people for whom English is not their first language?

To merge the principles related to leaders, could we organize a skype call between the 2-3 people who share their experience around this to come to a common principle?


Welcome back!

That's the intent. Do you want to set up the Skype discussion and I'll join if I can?

Would 'situation' be simpler? “If we accept ourselves and our situation then we can accept and support others more readily.”




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