Program To Fight Virus Among HIV-Positive

Armen Hareyan's picture

A group of HIV-positiveteachers in Kenya'sCentral province has formed a program aimed at educating teachers and studentsabout HIV/AIDS in an effort to reduce the spread of the disease, The Nation/ reports. HIV prevalence among teachers in the region is 4.5%, accordingto The Nation/


About 400 teachers, who teach mostly in primary schools, are participating inthe program, called "Chill," according to Charles Nyaberi of AIDSPopulation and Health Integrated Assistance, which administers the program.Each school participating in the program is assigned one male and one femaleyouth leader, who assist teachers in conducting the program. The youth leadersprovide students with information on HIV/AIDS and teach life skills. They alsoanswer students' questions about the disease, help parents and teachers assesstheir HIV risk and encourage testing.

Nyaberi said the goal of the program is to increase the age at which teenagersfirst have sex to 17. "We also aim at increasing a greater sense ofresponsibility, greater self-worth and self-esteem, and a reduced tolerance forsexual violence" to "create a generation of youth who are empoweredto make informed decisions regarding their lives and sexuality," Nyaberisaid.

About 64 schools in the Central province are participating in the Chillprogram, and Nyaberi said APHIA hopes to expand the program to 10 schools eachin the province's Kirinyaga, Murang'a North and Murang'a South districts. APHIAhas received permission from the Ministry ofEducation'sdirector of quality assurance and standards to expand the program into moredistricts in Central province and Nairobi,the country's capital. Kenneth Misoi, Central province's director of education,welcomed the program's expansion, adding that it is "one way teachers andpupils can try to save the country" from the spread of HIV/AIDS(Mwangi/Muchire, The Nation/, 1/30).

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