Cameroon: Aids-Free Holidays - CERAC Intensifies Campaign

A two-day sensitisation and screening exercise against HIV ends today at the Yaounde III Subdivision.

In accordance with the Circle of Friends of Cameroon (CERAC), the youths of the Yaounde III locality, have joined the First Lady of Cameroon, Founding President of CERAC and UNAIDS Special Ambassador to say "No" to HIV/AIDS, by responding massively to an HIV/AIDS sensitisation campaign currently taking place at the Yaounde III Council premises at the Efoulan neighbourhood. Happening within the 17th edition of the AIDS-Free Holidays under the theme "Android Generation, Click on HIV Screening," CERAC, through the campaign joins African Synergy against AIDS and Suffering to reinforce the AIDS-Free Holidays initiative of the First Lady, Chantal Biya, The initiative is a nationwide campaign aimed at sensitising young people on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmissible Infectious (STIs) during holidays. The call from CERAC to intensify the fight against HIV received positive reactions from youths in Yaounde III. Before 10:00 a.m. yesterday morning, the HIV caravan, on board members of CERAC, peer educators and health personnel were already stationed within the premises of the Council. Youths from all walks of life were seen queuing up for voluntary HIV test as well as learn how to prevent the disease which is affecting many in their generation. Upon arrival at the sensitisation site, the youths began by having educative talks with their mates (peer educators) on what HIV is, its contamination and prevention methods, the advantages of voluntary HIV screening and the care given to those infected with the virus. The youths, mostly between the ages of 17 to 35 years, got registered before undertaking the test. Thereafter, they were given educative materials and preventive tools (male and female condoms). Most of the youths at the campaign site said they were happy to be part of the exercise given that it was an opportunity for them to know their HIV status. One of the youths, Sabine Mengue, a student at the Catholic University in Yaounde said it has been over two years that she did the HIV test. Being part of the current campaign was a good opportunity for her to redo the test and confirm her status. Peer educator, Bernice Ebot, told Cameroon Tribune that most youths are interested in the HIV sensitisation campaign, but are afraid to collect their results after screening. As such, the peer educators and CERAC ladies had to take time to educate such youths on the importance of undertaking the voluntary HIV screening. One of the members of the CERAC delegation said, the objective of the First Lady's association is to join the government to achieve the 90-90-90 ambitious treatment by UNAIDS, with target to help end the AIDS epidemic by 2020.

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