JAMES APA GUMUNO
TWO people living with HIV/AIDS are among the 20 participants now actively carrying out peer education on HIV/AIDS in Pangia district, Southern Highlands province.
The peer educators are targeting their same age group within their community after attending a week-long workshop on peer education conducted by the Pangia district Stop AIDS Youth Group from Sep 29-Oct 10, this year in Pangia.
The national and provincial Aids council funded the workshop which it attracted 10 males and 10 females, among them were two who are living with the AIDS virus.
According to district HIV/AIDS coordinator, Albert David, the participants after the workshop wasted no time and started approaching their same age group and talked to them about HIV/AIDS and how they could avoid contracting the virus.
He said the peer education workshop was the follow up of the two workshops held last year.
Mr David said in August last year, they conducted a workshop on introduction to HIV/AIDS followed by another on home base care in November last year.
He said the youth group comprised of both boys and girls were straight from their first workshop on the introduction to HIV/AIDS to the next one.
He said the youths recognised the importance of carrying out the awareness into remote parts of the district where many people were illiterate and knew little about the HIV/AIDS and how it spread and how they would looked after their love ones living with the virus within their community.
Mr David said these youths sacrificed their time to reach out into the rural areas and did a fantastic job.
He said the workshop on the peer education would further boost them in their campaign when approached their peer groups and easily pass the message across.
He thanked national AIDS council through its provincial office and the provincial health office for funding the workshops.
Provincial AIDS coordinator, Henry Happen commended the youth group for taking an initiative to help educate the people in their rural areas about HIV/AIDS.
Mr Happen assured the group during the closing of their workshop in Pangia that his office would fund more training for them.
He said this would enable them to reach all schools in the district.