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Awareness of HIV and AIDS

Knowledge of HIV/AIDS

Many people know very little about their bodies, their sexual and reproductive health or HIV/AIDS. In many societies discussion about sexual matters is not open. As a result, millions of people, especially girls and women, remain ignorant about HIV/AIDS.

Although HIV awareness programmes are expanding, but still we need to do a lot. Many countries are conducting awareness programmes to educate people about HIV/AIDS. One of the eight goals of the United Nations Millennium Declaration is to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. To monitor the success of national programmes to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, data are now being collected by a number of developing countries and compiled by UNICEF on knowledge about HIV/AIDS and the use of condoms among young people. Awareness among women is a major issue to deal with as they have very little knowledge. According to data from the surveys, globally, more than 80 per cent of the young women did not have ‘sufficient’ knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Many had no idea how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and little or no information on protection methods.

Relatively few countries collect data on Condom use at last sexual encounter with a non–cohabiting partner. Breaking the silence on these sensitive issues builds awareness and effective action. Greater dialogue and partnerships are needed that can result in gender responsive policies and programmes. With young women facing some of the highest risks, the message needs to be emphasized in as many ways as possible. For adolescent girls, it is important that programmes for them should reflect their realities and build self–confidence and life skills. Experience shows that young people themselves, including those who are HIV–positive, are effective communicators, advocates and educators and need to be involved in awareness campaigns.
So awareness about HIV/AIDS is very important.

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