Youth in Cladwell, at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Monrovia were sensitized on various aspects of HIV and AIDS. Attending a workshop dubbed ‘Sexual Reproductive Health and HIV & AIDS Prevention Awareness’, the youth were sensitized on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and means of transmission of STIs.
The workshop also saw the youths further informed on symptoms of STIs and treatment. Different sessions of the workshop also addressed broad questions such as: What is HIV and AIDS? How is HIV transmitted? How do people get to know that they have HIV? And how is HIV treated?
Participants watched a movie titled ‘The Reckless Girl’ which demonstrates dangers of having multiple sex partners and how this risky behavior can expose one to various sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS. The movie successfully captured participants’ attention which later resulted to constructive dialogue and reflection. Feedback from participants’ reflections revealed challenges amongst youth to withstand negative peer pressure amongst them. The youth made request for regular workshops to be mentored and guided on social issues affecting them.
In a country with approximately 2900 new HIV infections and 2800 AIDS-related deaths (UNAIDS 2016), Liberia’s young youth aged 15 and 17 years are among youths in sub-Saharan Africa who are at a greater risk of being infected with HIV and sexually transmitted infections. These categories of youth need enhance HIV and AIDS awareness campaigns to influence their behavior and actions to minimize HIV infections in Liberia.