• Blandina Malinzi

Educating and raising HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention among adolescents

Happy New Year to all our readers may you have a prosperous year in 2019 many blessings to you!

Tanzania has a population of young adults where a third of the country’s population is between the ages of 10-24, and who are most likely to become sexually active. In 2014, an estimation of 6% of adolescents was living with HIV (AVERT, 2018).

Young people in Tanzania are engaging more in risky behaviors such as not using protection, having multiple sexual partners, not going for checkups, and having sex before the age of 15 which remains significant challenges in the country’s HIV response. Comprehensive knowledge about HIV is also low and less than half of young people have inadequate knowledge. (Image courtesy of pixabay).

The sad part is not everyone for instance in the community, companies or organizations is aware of the impact HIV/AIDS.

The fight for HIV/AIDS among adolescents in Tanzania is still going strong. Young girls are most vulnerable among youths as research shows infection affects more women than men.

Most young people are frightened to speak with their parents regarding sexual and health issues, so in turn they end up receiving bad advice and information from their peers who are also inexperienced.

(Image courtesy of pixabay)

This results in misinformation about HIV/AIDS and increases youth’s vulnerability to it, the effect and causes on how to prevent it and the self-confidence necessary to protect themselves.

Some are deluded to think that they never contract HIV/AIDS and it can never happen to them but in actual sense it can happen to anyone! Some also believe that HIV/AIDs is no longer present but the reality is HIV/AIDS is still exists and something needs to be done about it!

Young people need to be more careful, love themselves in order to take care of their bodies.

Another challenge is that most schools in the country don’t offer sex educational classes, which can be beneficial to youth so they can learn the importance of sexual and reproductive health, how they can prevent themselves from getting STD’s.

Tai Tanzania team in one of their visits to secondary schools to provide sexual and reproductive health (photo courtesy of Tai Studio).

To-date young people still face obstacles in obtaining diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS where services are available. Reproductive health services lack of access to contraception work together to put young women at especially high risk.

Since the best way to prevent HIV/AIDS is to continue to educate, and create awareness and the fact that knowledge is power, we at Tai Tanzania continues to use 3D animation to raise awareness and educate secondary school students on the issues that are affecting them in order to reach to their full potential.

(Image courtesy of Tai Studio)

By having awareness programs youths become conscious of the levels of care and treatment through counseling and therapy and find ways to deal with it, whether they are living with the disease or not.

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