Youth must undergo Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) for HIV in order to prevent and protect others from contracting the disease.
The call was made yesterday by Irene Ingabire, the vice head of Amahoro Association, an umbrella organisation of about 1,930 youths infected and affected by HIV/Aids, during the launch of a VCT programme in Rutunga Sector of Gasabo District.
Funded by the Global Fund, through the Imbuto Foundation, the campaign is being held under the theme; ‘New Year with no more HIV infection’.
“Testing is free of charge. If you then know your status you will take the right measures to protect yourself or go for the required medical services,” Ingabire said.
She advised the youth to desist from sex before marriage pointing out that it is not only against the Rwandan culture, but could also ruin their future through HIV infections.
The Sector Executive Secretary, Baptiste Habanabashaka, called upon residents to take personal responsibility in protecting the young generation.
“Yes, our children must take the lead in protecting their lives, but as parents, we must play a role in helping them succeed,” he said.
In an interview with The New Times, Solange Niyonshimira, 18, said the campaign will help in creating awareness about HIV prevention measures.
“Loving a person is not having sex with him or her. As students, we shall share this information to protect ourselves and others,” she emphasised.