NUST's annual HIV/Aids and Wellness Campaign kicks off

13 Sep 2018 13:40pm
WINDHOEK, 13 SEP (NAMPA) – The Namibia University of Science and Technology’s (NUST) annual HIV/Aids and Wellness Campaign started on Thursday.
The two-day campaign, which is taking place under the theme ‘#TreasureLife’, is made up of various creative and youth-friendly activities such as on-campus debates, football, netball, chess tournaments and wellness exhibitions, among others.
Addressing hundreds of learners from various high schools at the opening ceremony in Windhoek, NUST Vice-Chancellor, Tjama Tjivikua encouraged the young people to pause and take stock of their health and lives in general.
He said reducing the youth’s exposure to sexual contact is one way to prevent the transmission of HIV/Aids.
“You can reduce your risk by participating and practising abstinence, practising safe sex, getting tested and being monogamous,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, the United States of America’s Ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson said Namibian girls and young women between the ages of 15 and 24 are especially at risk of contracting HIV.
She said research has shown that there is a cycle of HIV infection between older men and younger women.
“What happens is an HIV-positive man has unprotected sex with a young woman, infecting her with HIV. If she then doesn’t get tested and started on antiretroviral treatment, she in turn risks passing the virus on to her future sexual partners, including young men of her own age,” she explained.
She said this cycle of HIV infection negatively impacts the aspirations of Namibia’s youth and must be stopped.
Johnson therefore encouraged young Namibians to take advantage of programmes made available to them and seek to widen their understanding of HIV to help equip them with the knowledge to stay safe, prevent the spread of HIV and ensure that their lives are long, healthy and enjoyable.