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Short profile of the Societies

Presentation of Seminarwerk AIDS e.V. & AIDS-Hilfe Aachen e.V.

Most of the information on HIV infection is not presented from the point of view of those affected, but is peppered with medical terminology.
They give too few answers to the patients’ actual questions and are primarily based on the way doctors think.
However, both perspectives must be considered to ensure adequate knowledge transfer on the subject of HIV and AIDS.
The current possibilities of care, raising awareness among the population, prevention and exchange of experiences for everyone involved
Professional groups and those affected as well as insights into the specific problems of those infected with HIV and those suffering from AIDS are nowhere to be found
offered from a single source. The Seminarwerk AIDS e.V. would like to eliminate this deficiency.

The focus of the work of the Seminarwerk AIDS e.V. lies in the organization of events, which are either in the form of pure lectures, as seminars,
designed as a panel discussion or exchange of experiences in small groups. The transfer of knowledge and dealing with the
respective topic are often designed in cooperation with church, medical, university or health policy institutions.
The target group is the committed public, multipliers, medical professionals and AIDS professionals as well as groups affected
addressed.

The topicality and range of the topics offered are characterized by the professional focus of the seminar management,
precisely tailored to the needs of the target groups. The integration of the various professional groups and also the networking with the near ones
Abroad – the Euregio – offers the opportunity to learn from different experiences and to optimize the quality level.

Enlightenment, information and knowledge transfer can have many effects: In this way, the affected groups can effectively learn about prevention and
improved living conditions and minimized the risk of infection. The work of the AIDS professionals can be carried out more efficiently
and a large number of multipliers are continuously provided with the necessary information.

The Seminarwerk AIDS e.V. is partly financed by the city of Aachen. Further support consists of membership fees, donations
and volunteer work together. The financing has to be restructured again and again due to reduced public funds.

The Seminarwerk AIDS e. V. can boast of having made a small contribution to Aachen’s reputation. At the beginning of 1996, the association received good news from the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Health. Despite the large number of applicants from all over North Rhine-Westphalia, the Seminarwerk AIDS e. V. came out on top with third prize within the framework of the “Healthy State of North Rhine-Westphalia” project association. According to the laudatory speech, the series of lectures, seminars and workshops of the Seminarwerk have made a decisive contribution to informing and raising awareness among the general public and the specialist public, thereby improving the situation of people infected with HIV. The innovative character of the project and the networking function of the further training offers in AIDS care were particularly recognized.

The Seminarwerk AIDS e. V. is dependent on donations from private sponsors due to its non-profit nature and its objectives. All donations are tax deductible.

AIDS-Hilfe Aachen e.V. – Living with AIDS in Aachen

AIDS first appeared as a phenomenon in the early 1980s. Information was scarce, creating uncertainty and fear. People who felt threatened, either directly or indirectly, founded the first AIDS organizations in Germany. The association AIDS-Hilfe Aachen e.V. was founded in Aachen in 1986. With growing demand, the association set up a counseling center that initially offered information and anonymous telephone advice for the public. Concrete knowledge about the transmission paths made it possible to set up educational work. People living with HIV and their families are increasingly looking for support. This led to the establishment of a positive group, psychosocial support and personal counseling for people living with HIV. For 22 years we have been supporting life with AIDS in the Aachen region and in neighboring countries. We have expanded and adapted our offers in line with current developments. Today we present ourselves as a professional advice center in which full-time and voluntary employees implement the offers in cooperation.

AIDS-Hilfe Aachen e.V. – self-determined and networked

We see the roots of our organization in self-help. Knowledge of one’s own possibilities, self-determined and also self-responsible decisions are the indispensable prerequisites for helping oneself. This thought guides us in dealing with people with HIV and AIDS and their living environments. This attitude makes our educational work effective. It characterizes the cooperation between full-time and voluntary employees in the association. In the conceptualization and design of our work, we use our opportunities to set priorities in a self-determined manner in order to correspond to the dynamics of the disease. To expand our possibilities, we network with various institutions, umbrella organizations and self-help projects that deal with the topic of AIDS and people from our target groups in their work.

AIDS-Hilfe Aachen e.V. – integrative internally and externally

HIV and AIDS influence the lives of individuals, but also the social evaluation of social groups and their living environments. Some living environments are particularly confronted with the effects of HIV. Many people are infected in them, and HIV has a particular impact on how society views their living environment. This applies in particular to the lives of gay men, people who use drugs, women and young people, and people from countries where HIV and AIDS are more prevalent. We evaluate these living environments positively. AIDS-Hilfe represents a space for encounters. Many employees of the AIDS-Hilfe come from these groups. The individual assessment of one’s position and a positive assessment of one’s own and other people’s living environments are promoted. Lifeworlds deal with each other, touch each other and bundle their competencies in their work and in their external impact. On a societal level, an important work goal is to protect and strengthen the interests of these living environments.

AIDS-Hilfe Aachen e.V. –  innovative and resource-oriented

We are guided by the idea that all people have the skills and abilities with which they can develop individual solution strategies in life crises. Our goal is to track down these resources, to make them aware and to promote them. In this way we can draw on the resources of the people who work with us and who seek help from us. HIV and AIDS curtails the possibilities of shaping the life of individuals as well as social groups. It is precisely here that it is necessary to make the skills of the individual and their living environment accessible again and to promote them. Only those who can act independently and responsibly can protect themselves and others from new infections and shape their lives with the infection. Through our work with the most diverse people and living environments, we have learned that there is not just one view of reality. AIDS help becomes innovative through the recognition and respectful handling of these diverse perceptions of reality. We make them usable for individual solution strategies, for the development of our offers and concepts and for influencing the social assessment of HIV and AIDS.

AIDS-Hilfe Aachen e.V. – need- and demand-oriented

We focus on the individual needs formulated by those seeking advice and target groups. They are thus the starting point for the counseling and information process itself and influence the goals of the work. By constantly reflecting on the needs brought to us, the general need for offers and necessary networks in the region is emerging. Where this need becomes acutely clear, it is initially met by our advice center with its existing offers. We make the need visible and strive for lasting solutions. To this end, we develop our own new offers, further network existing facilities and are involved in changing the political framework. The dynamics of medical development, the financial resources and cooperation partners available to us are the basis and mark the scope for our orientation towards needs and requirements.

AIDS-Hilfe Aachen e.V. – lust and life oriented

AIDS is not curable, even if the possibilities for treatment have improved significantly. AIDS confronts you with your own finiteness. AIDS restricts the experience of sexuality and intoxication. We counteract the limitations of life with the conscious design of quality, helping to give life to the years. In this field of tension we support the individual – with the awareness of their own finiteness – to live their desire, sexuality and intoxication with pleasure and to shape it positively on their own responsibility. We help individual resources, abilities, talents and joys to be used and thus support the individual way of independently formulating and implementing life goals and life dreams with appreciation and respect. We also convey our life-affirming attitude in our educational work.

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