The National, Tuesday 18th September, 2012
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
THE government should create AIDS counsellors positions in all secondary and high schools throughout the country, a workshop for education officers has been told.
The education officers from the highlands region said that during the closing of their three-day consultative workshop on Friday in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands.
The forum included education officers, other stakeholders such as Provincial AIDS Council, non-government organisations and community representatives.
They gathered a draft implementation plan based on the revised HIV/AIDS policy for Education Department for 2012 to 2016.
The 23 participants said the most affected age groups was between 15 and 25 years. They said students were at high risk.
Western Highlands Provincial AIDS Council technical officer Apollos Yimbak said some students were living with the virus and soon more could be infected if they continued to engage in unsafe sex.
He said there was a need for a counsellor in every secondary and high school as a preventative measure.
“I am sorry that some students in secondary and high schools in the province were affected,” he said.
He said for the good of the students and the education system, they needed to work together to educate students on avoiding HIV/AIDS and preventing unwanted pregnancies.
Yimbak said the rate of sexually transmitted diseases among students was very high.
He said if nothing was done to address this problem, the future workforce of the province and the country would be affected.
He said many young people showed no care attitude and were involved in unsafe sex and that behaviour had to be stopped.