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Dec 1, 2010

Youth encouraged to reflect and protect from HIV

Nearby at the Bliss, Reflect and Protect, was the theme at one of seven rallies held around the country to mark World AIDS Day. Although the statistics are showing that the number of affected youths is on the decrease, the battle against the disease is far from over. The most vulnerable group, the youths, were encouraged to protect themselves or abstain from sex. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Young people listen to other young people: that was the platform used by the National Aids Commission for a youth rally held at the Bliss today. Students from secondary and tertiary schools, as well as out of school youths, were treated to an afternoon of entertaining awareness for World AIDS Day.

elio cabanas

Elio Cabanas, Communications Officer, National AIDS Commission

“Looking at the statistics, it’s showing that youths between the ages of fifteen to twenty-four years old are vulnerable to HIV so it is very important to us to do the kind of prevention work that will allow them to think about their sexual behaviors and start protecting themselves. So we have organized seven behavior change youth rallies across Belize. Statistics are showing that forty percent of them are active and twenty-five percent of youths between the ages of fifteen to nineteen are not engaging in consistent use of condoms. So that is something that we want to promote; a more responsible behavior and get them to think and reflect on their actions and to start using appropriate protection plans.”

And the message was clearly sent, according the youths who attended the event.

Gerald Meighan, Student, Edward P. Yorke High School

gerald meighan

“The show is very educational and I think a lot of people should really send their high school children to watch it.”

Delahnie Bain

“Do you think this was an effective way to send the message?”

Gerald Meighan

“Yes ma’am.”

christian burns

Christian Burns, Student, Edward P. Yorke High School

“The message is good but then I also think have to also show the bad side of the message as well. When everybody went up, the twenty-five people went up with the cup to see how AIDS spread round or HIV and if the cup turns pink that’s how quick. He was explaining to us, imagine if that was a whole day. It wouldn’t have been five ten people, it would have been the whole group.”

Japhet Gordon, Member, Belize Youth Cadet Corp

japhet gordon

“I think that it is fun and at the same time you’re learning about how to carry yourself mannerly about the place or when you’re with a partner, you should do the right thing and always use a condom when having sex.”

ashanti garbutt

Ashanti Garbutt, Student, Ladyville Technical High School

“The singing, to me the songs really portray more about HIV/AIDS and has a lot of information to give to us and the information is true.”

Kristian Fuentes, Student, Ladyville Technical High School

kristian fuentes

“They are positive information and we as youths and young people should apply them in life because most of the disease that are being produced in this world today are being carried on by us the younger generation. And I think it’s useful information and we should apply it in our lives.”

According to the National AIDS Commission’s communication’s officer, awareness campaigns like today’s rally have improved recent statistics.

Elio Cabanas

“We’ve already been seeing some very positive trends in terms of incidents for this year and even last year whereby those figures are decreasing and we do hope that these kinds of initiatives will have a very positive impact on those outcomes also whereby we’ll see the continuing trend of figures going down in terms of young people becoming infected.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

Youth rallies were also held in Corozal, Orange Walk, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Punta Gorda and Toledo.

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2 Responses for “Youth encouraged to reflect and protect from HIV”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    Thank goodness they are BEING EDUCATED……… HOPE THEY PUT THE KNOWLEDGE TO USE.

  2. justice says:

    Thank God for these people going around educating the youth, I pray that it’s message is effective and they start caring more about their lives. Protect yourselves today so you don’t have any regrets tomorrow.

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