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Youth Told To Intensify Action For AIDS Free Holiday 

By Coretta Penn Achu

Some 40 peer educators have been called upon to help save more lives through the AIDS Free Holiday campaign, in Bafoussam.

HIV Peer Educators at Launch

The call was made Friday August 7, in Bafoussam by the West Secretary General, Maliki Oumara, during the launch of activities marking the 2009 AIDS Free Holiday campaign in the Mifi division. The campaign will run from August 6 to August 22 under the theme ‘Unity equals AIDS free holidays’.

The occasion saw the participation of regional AIDS Control Committee, mayors of Bafoussam and partners of the technical group for the fight against HIV/AIDS. In his speech, Maliki Oumara emphasised on the need for youths convincing their peers to do the HIV/AIDS tests. He advised peer educators to use their strong will, intelligence, hard work to achieve the goals outlined to them, ‘know that for every one person you convince, you save a life,’ he said.

S.G Maliki encouraged HIV carriers to believe they can live longer with the virus if they go for regular medical check-ups and adopt a healthy and responsible life. He urged everyone to fight against the pandemic. ‘Abstinence, fidelity or condoms, the choice is yours for the fight against AIDS’ he added.

The Regional Coordinator of the programme, Dr. Tchatchoua Gilbert, threw more light on the mission of the peer educators: ‘their mission is to sensitise people on the dangers of AIDS, its means of transmission, prevention and encourage them to get tested. He revealed that, presently, the sero-prevalence in the West Region is at 4.5% and 20.000 youth are expected to do their tests by the end of the 2 weeks campaign.

During the event, the youth recited poems on AIDS, and also demonstrated the correct use of the male and female condoms. They equally received working tools comprising magazines, tracts, flyers and condoms from the hands of the S.G. The AIDS Free Holiday campaign is carried out in all regional headquarters across the country under the patronage of the First Lady, Madam Chantal Biya, in partnership with African Synergies and UNFPA

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