A seminar for parents who volunteer at Tehila (the Israeli PFlag) was held Saturday, engaging in various aspects of HIV.
The seminar presented a variety of information related to the illness and held a discussion about the place and role of parents on the subject of safe sex and AIDS awareness among young people, both in private homes and in the community and society.
The awareness of parents of LGBT people with HIV has increased in Tehila recently, following a support group for parents that was recently established in cooperation between Tehila and the Israeli AIDS Task Force.
The participating parents showed a deep interest in the issue – the need for knowledge has become essential both for parents guiding the nationwide support groups and for those who volunteer in youth groups.
At the Saturday seminar, parents were given an overview of the history of HIV and AIDS since the outbreak of the disease, and watched excerpts from the play “The Normal Heart” which is about to go on stage in Israel.
They also heard a personal story that moved everyone. Saar Maoz – the social director of Israel AIDS Task Force – and his mother, Ditza, shared openly about the process that each of them has gone through: the feelings and experiences of a guy who discovers he is a carrier of the disease, the enforced second coming out process, the family’s reaction – fear, pain and stigmas, and the journey to acceptance and eradication of fear and shame: a journey of an inspiring family.
Adir Yanko from the Israeli AIDS Task Force gave out updated information about the disease in its various stages, meanings, possibilities and ways to avoid infection. As a conclusion, a workshop was held to allow parents to touch on the important things they heard throughout the day and to participate in a Q&A session.