Students talk about and get protected from HIV2012.06.15
Ten high-school students in the Gavar Region of Armenia organize meetings and talk about HIV and the ways of prevention and healthy lifestyle in general in the schools of Gavar Town and nearby villages, thus striving to protect the health of their peers, friends and family members.
"Any kid of sexual education topic, including HIV-prevention, has always been just a taboo in our communities. Elder people think it is a shame to talk about these topics, while youngsters and children are
Together with AIDS Prevention, Education and Care (APEC) NGO World Vision Gavar Area Development Program has trained some ten active students and encouraged them to organize meetings with their peers and talk about HIV and healthy lifestyle.
Students came up with an idea to organize an open-ended theatre performance covering the topics of healthy lifestyle and sexual education, and involve their peers to offer conclusion for the performances.
"We have prepared three different mini-performances covering the topics of HIV transmission, healthy lifestyle and early sexual life. We made our premiere in one of the schools of Gavar. At first, students who attended the performance were shocked, especially the elder one. Mostly the elder students wouldn’t talk and were surprised when the younger ones were jumping in and offering solutions,”- remembers Gohar Dadoyan, 16.
Already the school students of some six communities have participated to the performances and learnt a lot, though some of these students are still reluctant to openly speak about healthy sexual life and behavior.
"There is still a lot of work to do, because we still face resistance with some of the students, and we need to find ways to make our message clear. But for the younger students, our message was very clear, and I am happy the performances educated them to think before taking any risky step”, says Hasmik Grigoryan, the head of APEC representation in Gavar Town.
"Gegharkunik Region, and especially Gavar Town and surrounding communities register the highest level of seasonal migration to the countries with high HIV-prevalence like Russia and Ukraine. We particularly stressed these training for the community children so that they can pass the knowledge to their family members, and be protected themselves,” – says Anush Poghosyan, Team Leader for World Vision Armenia Gavar Area Development Program.