Dr Basile Ikuzo, Director of HIV Prevention Unit at the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) has said the institution is boosting HIV/AIDS awareness among young people to help curb the disease. Ikuzo declared that RBC is using schools, youth centres and media to inform youth as well as the public that HIV/AIDS is still an epidemic, and how they can access treatment and prevention services. According to the Rwanda Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (RPHIA), a national household-based survey conducted in 2019, the HIV prevalence was approximately two or more times greater in older adolescent girls and young women (ages 15-24 years) compared to older adolescent boys and young men (1.2 per cent Vs 0.5 per cent). In women aged 25-29 years compared to men in the same age groups, the prevalence was 3.4 per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively. Moreover, in men aged between 25 to 29 years of age, HIV prevalence was 1.3 per cent while it was 3.4 per cent in women. While for men and women aged between 20 to 24 ages, the prevalence was 0.6 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively. In regards to what might have fuelled the prevalence, Ikuzo said that nowadays, life has evolved and temptations towards sexual intercourse are many compared to past years. He declared that some youth have less knowledge regarding causes and prevention of HIV/AIDS and how they can access medical services in case they get infected. “Parents,” he continued, “Have reduced effort in helping their children and educating them about the disease. In schools, it is not talked about as much as it used to before. Back then, it was easy to explain to someone about HIV/AIDS because we could see people with symptoms but nowadays due to advancement in terms of treatment and intervention, there are few people with symptoms and youth do not have enough information. That’s why you would find them more infected than old people who received information earlier.” Talking about why the prevalence in young women is higher than in young men, Ikuzo said young women face more temptations than men. “You find a girl more vulnerable compared to a boy because she is desired by both boys of her age as well as older men hence facing a lot of temptations,” he said. Ikuzo declared that HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention services are offered for free at different health centres across Rwanda, adding that, “we need to raise awareness in partnership with media, other government levels as well as parents.” He added: “HIV is real and it still kills because there is no cure or vaccine for it. To protect yourself, you have to first get tested, know your state and then make decisions.” Commenting on the availability of condoms, he said one can access them for free at all health centres across Rwanda or at different kiosks that were established in some places around the country. He revealed that RBC also seeks to avail condoms at different public and private institutions, declaring that they are in discussion with the institutions in charge to help people easily access them for protection.