HIV prevention among Africa’s kids

1.  According to this article from The Times of Zambia, “United Nations (UN) special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa, Elizabeth Mataka has said the high level of ignorance among the youth on HIV/AIDS should be bridged with accurate information to protect the young people from contracting and further spreading the virus that causes AIDS.”

Mataka, who is also the executive director of the Zambia National AIDS Network, said that “young people especially those who were not in schools were vulnerable to the pandemic because they lacked information on how best they could prevent themselves from getting the virus.”  She cited a recent survey of 15 to 19-year-olds, which indicated that “only 33.6 per cent knew about the sexual transmission of the virus and rejected major misconceptions about HIV transmission.”  These alarming figures make it obvious that education and awareness are still huge factors in HIV prevention.

2.  In related news, here’s an article from Mozambique about the Window of Hope project, aimed at increasing knowledge and awareness of AIDS among kids aged 10 to 14.

“The idea of concentrating on this group is to keep them safe, by delaying the onset of sexual activity, and ensuring that when they do become sexually active they are fully aware of the dangers of HIV infection and how to prevent it.”

3.  On a hopeful note, here is a brief but very interesting profile of a Ugandan girl with definite goals and a ton of determination to achieve them: ” ‘My aim is to be a woman of status in society and I have to respect and value myself so that these men do not deceive me off my studies’ she insists.”  She advocates abstinence as the sure way not to get HIV through sex.

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~ by h.e.g. on June 30, 2008.

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