A NEW tool for awareness on the HIV/AIDS epidemic was identified when 26 youths graduated in Western Highlands province last Friday, after a two-week training, conducted by the Baptist Union of PNG (BUPNG).
The new tool would be the youths who attended the training called the Inter-church Youth Fear Education (HIV/AIDS) and Sports Programme.
This programme is the first in the country and recognises sports as the focal point in bringing youths together and aims to train youths on HIV/AIDS, who may be able to educate other youths through involving them in sports.
Michael Pagasa, the BUPNG National HIV/AIDS programme coordinator, said youths were more venerable in spreading HIV/AIDS and were ignorant of the awareness campaigns.
He said he believed that with the programme, youths from all denominations would be brought together to participate in sports while the message of HIV/AIDS could be disseminated through peer education.
Mr Pagasa told the graduates to concentrate on peer educating as that was where the population was and was also the way to minimise the epidemic.
Meanwhile, Koti Kape, the BUPNG Youth Sports Programme coordinator, claimed that doing awareness would not help unless the lives of youths were touched through sports.
Mr Kape, the founder of Grasruts Olympics when based in Goroka, Eastern Highlands province, said the programme was first introduced in Mt Hagen, and would soon be implemented in other provinces.
Mr Kape hoped to create bigger sports competitions based on the programme throughout the country and might involve other countries in the region.