Campaigns Aim To Encourage Senegalese Youth To Get Tested for HIV
Campaigns are underway in Senegal to encourage more young people to get tested for HIV, IRIN News reports. Young people between ages 15 and 24 accounted for half of all new HIV cases in 2004, but only 3,500 people were tested for the virus, according to the country's Ministry of Youth. Papa Amadou Niang Diallo -- who is involved with the youth ministry's campaign called "Youth are Getting Tested," which began Sept. 28 and will end Oct. 8 -- said, "There is an urgent need to have more young people tested." Yet young people are reluctant to do so because of the stigma surrounding the disease, according to the National Alliance Against AIDS. The organization is attempting to address the problem by offering training and discussion forums on HIV/AIDS to local health workers and the public that answer questions on the disease including where to get tested. Some Senegalese rap stars, such as Keyti and Khouman, are using their ability to communicate with young people and high-profile status to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing (IRIN News, 10/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.