An update

COVID-19. The latest on our work

For all COVID-19 information including how to protect you and yours, on cocooning and self isolation and how to access testing see: www.hse.ie/coronavirus

 UPDATE 3rd April – Holding multiple realities in tension every day.

Our work continues remotely with phone, text and Zoom (for team meetings) our main ways of communicating.

The mutuality of ‘Drinking from the Same Cup’ lies at the heart of our work but now we have to do it from a distance. It is a daily challenge as the physical connection we form with those we support at a kitchen table or a community café really matters. As individuals and families affected by HIV see increased anxiety and fear each day, our staff are there with reassuring words, practical supports and a listening ear.

We continue to keep faith communities including churches informed on both pandemics, including with the HSE resources. Again, information itself is only a fragment of our work and tells an incomplete story. It is the richness of faith, hope and love in action in that unites us.

ACET’s staff are defined as essential workers under the government’s latest guidelines so are allowed travel away from home. However we have been asked to keep any visits, even if delivering essential items, to an absolute minimum so as to follow the public health imperative of reducing the transmission of the virus. We will be using centralised resources, including our local authorities’ initiatives and HSE-funded partners, where we can.

Global inequality is at the heart of this pandemic. We are praying for our supported projects in Zimbabwe where the health infrastructure is completely unequipped for the impact of COVID-19.

Please stand with us at this difficult time for all. Thank you for all your support.

UPDATE 27th March – We are now responding to two pandemics

All our staff and volunteers continue to work remotely while staying in touch with one another via Zoom meetings. We are grateful for one another, our funders and your support.

Our care staff are in touch will all those we support, often in challenging circumstances where access to health services is reduced and mental health is poor. Their work phones are staying on at weekends in case of emergency.
We are keeping in touch with faith communities and other groups across the country to ensure that all are updated with accurate information on COVID-19. The great work of the HSE in developing translated resources is proving very useful.
For any queries on services, supports or information in your local community drop us an email at dublin@acet.ie
Finally, if you pray, please pray for our staff,  the frontline workers in the HSE  and all those involved in Public Health at this challenging time.

UPDATE 19th March

If you pray we would love you to join us as we seek wisdom and courage for the way forward.

Please pray for our care work, now based remotely. We support many individuals and families living with and affected by HIV. HIV treatment is excellent and can mean that there are no additional complications if a person has COVID-19. However respiratory and other underlying conditions are commonplace among those we support. This is linked to the structural inequalities and inequities in areas of wealth and health in our society. Join us in lamenting that our shared encounter with any pandemic will not mean a shared outcome. Pray for wisdom and courage for our staff and for peace in the midst of anxiety.

Pray for wisdom as, along with many other agencies, we assess what is ‘essential’ at this difficult time and focus on where need is greatest alongside colleagues in the HSE.

Please pray for our HIV Testing and Awareness work with migrant-origin churches and faith communities which currently includes assessing and distributing COVID-19 information for the HSE. Pray that those often marginalised because of language or circumstance would receive clear understanding on the way forward.

Please pray for our partner organisations across the country and all the health professionals we work alongside including our Chairman, Prof. Sam McConkey, who will be at the forefront of the response for a time to come. Pray for safety and strength.

Please pray for our fundraising and support to Zimbabwe, through the Matilda Project. While there are no recorded cases of COVID-19 in the country yet, please remember them at this time. The health service would profoundly struggle with even the smallest outbreak and a larger one would have a devastating impact. Pray for protection for all.


UPDATE 13th March An update on our work as all projects have moved to a remote model.

Thank you for your support as we serve at the intersection of two very different pandemics with similar challenges, fears and hopes.

Dear friends of ACET,

In this difficult time our work continues though we have now moved almost entirely to a remote model. 

Our care staff are continuing to support individuals and families across Dublin, though via phone and text. ACET operates a highly relational model of care which easily fits remote working. Interventions which take a longer period of time and involve significant listening skills and patience have been at the centre of our work for decades. Key issues such as health inclusion, safety, adherence to medication and emotional support are at the centre of our care plans. This includes all HSE advice on COVID-19.

Our HIV Testing Service is suspended for now though Luky and Richard are remotely available for awareness communications to faith communities and other groups, both on HIV and COVID-19. New HSE posters on the latter are available in multiple languages. 

We are in touch with partner organisations across the country and are thinking of health professionals such as our Chairman, Prof. Sam McConkey, who will be at the forefront of the response for a time to come.

Our fundraising and support to Zimbabwe, through the Matilda Project, continue. While there are no recorded cases of COVID-19 in the country yet, please remember them at this time. The health service would profoundly struggle with even the smallest outbreak and a larger one would have a generation-defining impact. 

We can be contacted at dublin@acet.ie and 01-8787700, though picking up of messages may be a bit more sporadic than usual.

ACET as an organisation holds closely its responsibility to ensure the stories of HIV, the AIDS pandemic and related public health issues are at the heart of our decisions both inward and outward facing.  We believe that applying the principle of precaution to how we conduct our daily work right now is an expression of solidarity with all people as our faith drives us to build a collective effort. As a community of communities, let’s all listen and learn from where we have been and ensure we will never make the same mistakes again.

Please take good care and thank you for your ongoing support,

Richard and all the team.

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