Botswana National Youth Council Launches Campaign Aimed at Reducing HIV/AIDS
The Botswana National Youth Council on Saturday launched a campaign that aims to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among youth in the country, Botswana's Mmegi reports. According to Mmegi, the campaign -- modeled after the World AIDS Day theme of "Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise"-- will include public lectures, debates, seminars and panel discussions.
The National AIDS Coordinating Agency has committed over 800,000 pulas -- or about $124,000 -- for BNYC to develop and expand its campaign to cover most villages in the country, Mmegi reports. The campaign will be launched in villages throughout Botswana, including Hukuntsi, Hunhukwe, Kang, Kavimba, Khwai, Mababe, Mabutsane and Sankonyo.
Officially launching the campaign, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Moeng Pheto said the theme of the campaign encourages youth to take personal responsibility and commit to healthy lifestyles to avoid contracting HIV. "This includes providing leadership, testing for HIV, upholding such prevention measures as abstinence, faithfulness and using a condom," Pheto said. He added that despite gains made in addressing the disease, young people should realize that Botswana continues to have a very high HIV prevalence. However, Pheto said the country appears to be "witnessing a decline in overall HIV prevalence among pregnant women at antenatal clinics from 37.4% in 2003 to 32.4% in 2006" (Setshogo, Mmegi, 3/4).