An educative talk between African Synergy and leaders of different school health clubs took place at the Lycée Général Leclerc yesterday, November 24, 2021.
Do you practise safe sex? Do you know your HIV status? What are the consequences of getting involved in a sexual relationship? How do you use the social media? What kind of messages and images do you put on social networks? These are some of the questions some 120 students from different secondary schools in Yaounde and its environs answered during an educative talk organised by the Pan-African NGO of African First Ladies: African Synergy Against AIDS and Suffering, yesterday November 24, 2021 in Yaounde. The event was within the 6th edition of the Cameroon Month against AIDS, and as prelude to the celebration of the 34th edition of the World AIDS Day on December 1, 2021; under the theme, "Ending inequality, Ending AIDS, Ending Pandemics".
The theme of the educative talk was, "HIV/AIDS and Social Networks". Experts from African Synergy said the advent of social networks has taken a prominent place in the access of young people to information and in the management of their interpersonal relations. The phenomenon is not without impact on the way adolescents today enter into relationships. In the area of sexual health, the emergence of social networks is changing the way young people relate to each other while exposing their lives and intimacy.
The Executive Secretary of African Synergy against AIDS and Suffering, Jean Stéphane Biatcha told the press that the dissemination of and pornographic images on the internet and social networks are all practices that are increasing the vulnerability of young people, particularly girls to the risk of HIV infection. He reiterated that for the past years, educative talks have focused on youths and their sexuality, when talking about HIV/AIDS. But this year, given the recent happenings on social media with the pornographic images of young girls seen on various networks, the Pan African NGO of African First Ladies felt there was need to talk about the social media and its impact on youth's sexuality. Jean Stéphane Biatcha said it was important to educate students on what they do on the social media because this could have an impact on their lives and sexuality. Given that the social media is of importance in many ways, Jean Stéphane Biatcha said they cannot tell young people not to visit the platform, but should be aware of the risk when exposing their intimacy on these sites because a picture or image posted can have consequences on their lives 10 years after.
For about two-hours, the Head of Department for Projects and Studies, Carole Tengue schooled students in HIV/AIDS, Sextape: the practice and dangers; and the need to be responsible when using social networks. Through a friendly discussion, Carole Tengue drilled participants on the responsibilities of the different actors in society in the production and distribution of pornographic images.