Youths get HIV awareness tips

Normal, Papua

The National, Monday 21st November 2011

WITH the help of local artists, staff from AusAID’s Papua New Guinea-Australia HIV/AIDS programme and Anglicare StopAIDS ran a poster skills workshop for 15 young men from City Mission’s Jensen Farm, at Bootless Bay, last week.
The boys are aged between 17 and 21 years and the workshop is a lead-up activity to World AIDS Day on Dec1.
AusAID programme director Anne Malcolm said the activity was designed to be fun and to impart some important messages about HIV/ AIDS, in particular reducing
stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.
“Discrimination against people with HIV is often based on fear and ignorance. “That’s why we conduct regular HIV education sessions with the boys here.
“These young men have come from troubled backgrounds, and HIV is a real risk in their lives,” Anglicare’s Elijah D Elijah said.
Clifton Orotu, 21, from Northern has been at the Jensen Farm for five weeks.
He said: “I completed grade 12 at Martyr’s Secondary School in Popondetta last year and came to Moresby to find a job. I had a job in a workshop, but one day I made a mistake while I was fixing a car and my boss got angry and fired me. I heard about a place called City Mission that looks after young men like me, and I found my way here.
“When Angicare came last week to run their HIV training, we learnt about how HIV is transmitted, and how we can protect ourselves from getting the virus. But today I learnt that if we must support people living with the virus. And I learnt that discrimination is against the law.”