Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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HIV & Aids preventable in tertiary institutions, says SayWhat

SayWhat at an HIV and Aids awareness campaign at the Reformed Church University (RCU)

Kimberly
Kusauka

MASVINGO – Voluntary
organisation SayWhat recently organised an HIV and Aids awareness campaign at the
Reformed Church University (RCU) where the focus was on preventive measures,
abstinence and protection for tertiary students.

Messaging
was transmitted through creatively artistic ways including poems, songs and
presentations to sensitize students on HIV and Aids.

SayWhat
representative, Simplisiyo Chilo said the idea was to encourage uptake of Sexual
and Reproductive Health (SRH) services at Youth Friendly Facilities that are
found at clinics.

“We
want to make sure that students have access to SRH services at the Youth
Friendly Facility at every clinic and they make full use of those services,”
said Chilo.

Peer
educators from Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) performed songs and poems on
protection, prevention and abstinence as a way of fighting new HIV and Aids
infections.

A
National Aids Council (Nac) presenter encouraged condom use among tertiary
students, saying it was the most feasible measure against STIs (Sexually-Transmitted
Infections) and unwanted pregnancy.

“Use
of condoms is another way which can be used to prevent HIV and Aids in tertiary
students hence there is need for consistent lessons on how to properly make use
of them,” she said.

A
Population Services International (PSI) representative focused on HIV testing,
screening and treatment for STIs; encouraging students to regularly get tested,
and to accept and make consistent use of Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) should
they be found to the HIV positive.

“As
PSI, we support HIV testing, screening and treatment for STIs at every Youth
Friendly Facility at any institution. We encourage students to go and get
tested for free. We also offer ARV drugs to students who are HIV positive in a
private and confidential manner,” he said.

Students
were given an opportunity to visit different service providers who were present
at the event for free lessons on SRH services under the ‘Smart choices for
smart learners’ SayWhat motto.

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