Jerusalem Youth Hold HIV and AIDS Seminar
By Candise Heinlein
The youth of Jerusalem Parish conducted the second part of their seminar on HIV and AIDS and malaria on 15 May 2010. This second part concentrated solely on HIV and AIDS and included voluntary counseling and testing (VCT). Seminar facilitators were: Edith Wamaitha, Uhuru Estate Community Health Worker; Jane Nkirote, VCT Counselor and Supervisor at Jamaa Mission Hospital, Uhuru Estate; and Tom Ongoro, VCT Counselor, Ministry of Health. The emphasis of the seminar was training on the prevention of HIV and AIDS and the importance of VCT, taking drugs, and treatment literacy.
The facilitators were asked to give their advice to the youth. Wamaitha advised, “Even if someone tests positive, they still have a chance to live; therefore, they should not fear to be tested.” “Awareness of HIV/AIDS, to realize causes and transmissions and preventive measures: Youth are leaders of tomorrow and need to have these things in mind,” commented Nkirote. Ongoro saw the big issue as behavior change. “We want people to change their behaviors. If you want to have sex, have sex responsibly,” he exhorted.
The lectures covered myths about HIV and AIDS, the origin of HIV, and prevention and treatment. Ongoro demonstrated the proper use of female and male condoms. Following the lectures, VCT was offered to all the participants. Jerusalem Youth Chairperson Philip Adika stated, “It was a nice seminar where every participant had idea about the subject and they were active and understanding.”