The youth have been reminded that the fight against AIDS starts with them. They have also been warned against risky sexual acts that may expose them to the disease.
Speaking during a convention held at Foursquare Church in Kigali on Saturday, Peace Mukamisha a member of the Mother’s Union asked the 1,000 youth that came from all over the country to instead develop good cultures within them and counsel their fellow youths against engaging in alcoholism, prostitution and drug abuse.
“Our youths should be brought up in a God fearing and friendly environment to grow into responsible adults,” she said.
During the convention, the youth were also strongly reminded against sexual relations with older men and women, a situation commonly referred to as cross-generation sex.
Freddy Bisetsa, program coordinator at Alarm Ministries, a youth-based not-for-profit organisation said many young people after withdraw into seclusion once they discover that they are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
“Many, once they realize they have the disease, start living quiet miserable lives, not wanting to be part of society,” he explained.
While he noted that some, especially prostitutes can often decide not to care if they infect or not their sex clients, it was important to show them that they can be part of the communities around them and lead normal lives.
While the latest information from the Rwanda Biomedical Centre indicates that the rate of new infections in the country has declined by 50 per cent, HIV is still a big threat, officials said.