Young People With Disabilities in Botswana Call for Greater Involvement in Country’s HIV/AIDS Efforts
The Botswana Federation of the Disabled recently held a seminar to commemorate the country's "Youth Against HIV/AIDS" month, focusing on the role of disabled young people in efforts to curb the spread of HIV, Botswana's Sunday Standard reports. About 60 disabled young people from across the country discussed HIV/AIDS-related issues and the vulnerability to HIV among disabled people. Participants called on the government to equally target the disabled population with information on HIV/AIDS prevention, according to the Standard. Shirley Keoagile, BOFOD vice chair, said that the group is primarily concerned about limited knowledge of issues that affect disabled youth, including HIV/AIDS prevention and other lifestyle issues.
Some advocates for the disabled community have said that government HIV/AIDS projects and initiatives have not addressed issues affecting the community. Keoagile said that a lack of communication means that disabled young people often are provided with little HIV/AIDS education, including information on prevention. "Realization to keep the promise and the human rights of people with disabilities in relation to HIV/AIDS is critical," she said, adding that the seminar focused on abstinence, condom use and fidelity. In addition, the seminar focused on securing HIV/AIDS resources for disabled youth (Madibana, Sunday Standard, 5/10).