AHF Zambia recently commemorated the nation’s Youth Day by organizing a sexual and reproductive health workshop that focused on young women and men and adolescent girls and boys. The event was particularly vital for young women and girls since they are three times more likely to contract HIV than their male counterparts.
Fifteen youth participants gathered in Lusaka, the country’s capital, where influencer and adolescent health activist Bertha Chulu engaged with the group about protecting themselves from HIV and other STIs and preventing unplanned pregnancies. The session also covered HIV testing, treatment, care, adherence, and support, and instructions on the correct and consistent use of condoms.
“We should do more of these gatherings, especially at a young age,” added youth participant Wesley Farai Banda. “That way, we can grow up knowing how to be safe, not when we’re older, when it’s too late.” Another participant, Taonga Lungu, reassured her peers by encouraging them to visit health facilities for testing and reiterated how important it is for people living with HIV to always remain adherent to their treatment.
“We were glad to be able to reach these young people on Zambia’s Youth Day – events like these are critical for bringing awareness and education to those most affected by HIV/AIDS,” said AHF Zambia Advocacy and Policy Manager Maambo Mweemba. “It’s especially imperative that we reach adolescent girls and young women, since they are at a higher risk of HIV and teenage pregnancies, primarily due to very little power when it comes to negotiating for safer sex.”
Zambia’s Youth Day highlights the value of youth to the country on the anniversary of disturbances in 1962 that resulted in young people’s deaths during the nation’s turbulent journey to independence.
AHF has been working in Zambia since 2007 and currently provides HIV care and treatment to 91,865 clients. AHF provides HIV/AIDS medical care and/or services to more than 1.5 million patients worldwide. Experience the advocacy on the AHF Films website at AHFFilms.org. Content and images courtesy of AHF and Fiona Ip.