Children understand World Aids Day

03 Dec 2016 12:00pm
SWAKOPMUND, 03 DEC (NAMPA) - There is some understanding among children in Swakopmund of why World Aids Day is observed and how to prevent HIV infection.
The day is observed annually on 01 December worldwide.
Nampa asked a few children on Thursday why they attended the World Aids Day event.
“It is the day when we are taught how to be safe by preventing ourselves from contracting HIV,” said 11-year-old Martinus Shihepo.
Shihepo said he stays safe by not coming into contact with wounds on another people and not letting other people’s blood mix with his.
HIV/Aids is spread through bodily fluids.
Shihepo came by himself because he wants to learn more about HIV and enjoy the entertainment offered at the event.
The day’s observance in Swakopmund was held at a sports stadium and offered attendees music and other cultural performances. Namibian musician ‘The Dogg’ also performed and spoke of how circumcision prevents infection.
Willem Bouua, 10, said the day aims to inform teenagers to abstain from sex or to use protection.
He said rape and dating ‘sugar daddies’ - older men who are interested in polygamous relationships with younger girls - increases a girl’s risk to contract the deadly virus.
Success Mukete, 13, also attended the day’s observance to know more about HIV/Aids by listening to speeches.
Various people who are HIV positive delivered motivational talks and testimony on how they contracted the virus and what it is like to live on antiretroviral treatment.
The day is meant to spread the message of prevention and care, and living positively after testing positive.
It also honours the lives of those who died from the pandemic and the efforts of those living with the disease while fighting the virus and stigma.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said in her keynote address at the event that despite new infections, especially among adolescent girls, government efforts to reduce the infections have paid off.
“Unlike before where a lot of people died of Aids fast, now Namibians live longer with the disease due to medication,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
Unborn children can be saved from infections and born HIV negative.
The premier said there is still a lot to be done to end HIV/Aids in Namibia and this is only possible when everyone is involved.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to protect their lives by staying safe and that of other people by not infecting them.”
About 300 people attended the event under the theme ‘Hands Up for HIV Prevention’.