End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics.

world-aids-dayThe Stats SA Mid-Year Population Report of 19 July 2021 states that the total number of people living with HIV in South Africa is estimated at approximately 8,2 million in 2021. For youth and adults aged 15–49 years of age, an estimated 19,5% of the population is HIV positive.

As a youth organisation it is our duty to support the health and well-being #SDG3 of our members. Today on World AIDS Day we want to reiterate the importance of creating safe places for youth to discuss current societal challenges such as the mitigation of gender-based violence and the HIV & AIDS pandemic.

The “Scouting and AIDS” initiative is an HIV and AIDS awareness and behavioral change programme where youth facilitate discussions with their peers, whilst sharing factual information – including prevention and treatments.

The programme furthermore promotes gender sensitisation and builds resilience amidst particpating adolescents by providing them with the confidence and tools to be able to identify “no” feelings and verbalise the word “no” when needed.

As you are aware, South Africa faces an ongoing crisis of violence against adolescent girls and women. Gender-based inequalities, exclusion, discrimination and violence puts them at increased risk of acquiring HIV. We therefore encourage our members to be educated and empowered and to run the “Scouting and AIDS” programme.

You can find the “Scouting and AIDS” programme on the SCOUTS SA Wiki here .

#SDG5 #SDG3 #WorldAidsDay #GlobalGoals #YouthEmpowerment #PeerEducation #Dialogue #resilience