NUST on HIV/Aids awereness drive
WINDHOEK, 07 SEP (NAMPA) - The Namibia University of Science and Technology’s (NUST) annual HIV/Aids and Wellness Campaign started on Thursday.
The two-day campaign, which is taking place under the theme ‘Change is in your hands’, is made up of various activities such as on-campus HIV testing, male circumcisions, debate and wellness exhibitions, amongst others.
Addressing thousands of learners from various high schools in Windhoek, South African HIV and sexual health activist, Phindile Sithole-Spong encouraged the young people to use condoms every time they have sex.
She said parents and school teachers should not ignore the reality that young people have sex at a young age and should instead help end the spread of HIV/Aids amongst young people by encouraging them to practice safe sex.
“The reality is the world has changed and our young people are more sexually active, yet parents will ignore the part that their children are having sex and focus on abstaining from sex,” stressed Sithole-Spong, who was born with HIV.
Speaking at the same event, United State of America Ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton said HIV/Aids is still the number one killer in Namibia.
He said extensive research in recent years has shown that there is a cycle of transmission in Namibia that must be stopped in order to control the HIV epidemic.
“When older men who are HIV-positive but do not know their status have sex with younger women, they infect them and when these younger women have relationships with their age mates, they infect them. The young men get older and the cycle starts over again,” he explained.
He said young Namibian men are reluctant to get tested, which makes it difficult to curb the spread of HIV/Aids.
Daughton therefore encouraged young Namibian men to be brave and get to know their HIV status in order to break the cycle and end the spread of HIV in Namibia.
The World Health Organisation estimates that every year, about 400 000 adolescent girls and young women are infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.