9 August 2017

Cameroon: Aids-Free-Holidays - Peer Educators Sensitise Inhabitants

Some 566 inhabitants in the Yaounde IV Subdivision have been schooled on the HIV pandemic.

Some young boys and girls wearing light green aprons are currently seen in all the nooks and crannies in the city of Yaounde with a message on HIV to any person they see along their way. This is within the 15th edition of the AIDS-Free-Holidays nationwide campaign. An initiative of the First Lady of Cameroon, Chantal Biya who is also UNAIDS Special Ambassador. The campaign which started since 2003 aims at sensitising young people during holidays on HIV/AIDS. This year's campaign is organised around the theme: "Android Generation, Click on HIV Screening." At the Mvog-Mbi neighbourhood in Yaounde, August 8, 2017, a group of peer educators had encamped around the busy junction not only with messages against HIV, but also with medical kits ready to screen those who wish to voluntarily carry out the HIV test. One of the peer educators, Moukou Boris Michel told Cameroon Tribune (CT) reporters that sensitising people against HIV is not an easy task, especially amongst women who are not receptive. However, Boris and his mates are up to the task. So far some 566 individuals around the Mvog-Mbi and Mvog-Atangana-Mballa neighbourhoods have been sensitised on the dangers of HIV/AIDS, its means of transmission, prevention while encouraging them to know their HIV status through a free screening exercise. Amongst the 566 individuals sensitised, Boris says 252 are women and 314 men. It is also revealed that amongst the 252 women edified on HIV just 33 per cent of them want to know their HIV status while 143 men amongst the 314 want to know their status. Boris and his mates say youths are not very much interested in knowing their HIV status, just like women, who mostly said they just did the test or that they would prefer to do the HIV test within a hospital structure, rather than during a campaign. Today, peer educators will continue their assignment to roll back Cameroon's high HIV/AIDS prevalence through education and sensitization in different zones in Yaounde such as the Mfoundi Market and the Post Office Junction.

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