New drive to curb HIV/AIDS in Gasabo district

There is need to sensitise youth especially teen girls on sexual reproductive health in a bid to help prevent HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted diseases and raise awareness among them.

The call was made by various officials during the launch of the campaign to combat HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases in Gasabo district.

The campaign which was launched last week is set to benefit thousands of beneficiaries and will equip them with skills not to engage in sexual activities while still young and contribute in the fight against HIV/AIDS and sexual violence.

Olive Mukamuganga is a single mother of one and was among the first people to get tested of HIV/AIDS. She says that the campaign is timely as many teen girls including those who are single mothers do not know their statuses.

“It is good to get tested so that people know the status of their health and take measures on how to live a healthy lifestyle in case they are HIV positive. I have not had an HIV test in a long time and I thought I would benefit from this campaign,” she said

“I hope me and my colleagues can gain health reproductive skills that can help us protect ourselves against HIV/AIDS,” she added

Hundreds of residents in Gasabo district are set to benefit from a new campaign which according to organisers will see at least get tested.

Daria Jeanne Uwamahoro, who is in charge of Gender and family promotion at Gasabo district said the campaign is significant as it will help prevent new HIV/AIDS infection  among residents and that12,000 will get tested during the campaign .

“For us to prevent new cases of HIV infection among our people especially our youth, we need to keep raising awareness and this campaign is timely and we hope it will help citizens understand how they to prevent themselves from contracting HIV,” she said

Gasabo District is partnering with African Evangelistic Enterprise (A.E.E) through the USAID supported project called UBAKA EJO/DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, And Safe)

Albert Mabasi, the coordinator of AEE in the city of Kigali said the youth face various challenges where some teen girls still lack basic information about health reproduction which sometimes leads to unintended pregnancies.

“We are targeting both the youth and their parents so that all can benefit from this awareness campaign,” he said

He urged the youth who will be tested for HIV/AIDS to know their status and be empowered to defy all temptations that can lead them to sexual practices and protect themselves whenever they engage in sexual intercourse.

“We encourage teen mothers, parents and the community to freely talk about sexual health reproduction to break the silence for the victims to get justice and perpetuators be brought to book,” he said.