Students receive HIV/AIDS education
February 28, 2014

Students receive HIV/AIDS education

Students of the Dr J.P. Eustace Memorial High and the Intermediate High Schools were, last week, given the opportunity to find out more about HIV/AIDS.{{more}}

The students were part of an HIV/AIDS Outreach Programme, undertaken by several students of the Trinity School of Medicine.

Three students, Afolami Fagorala, Cherelle Smith, and Sarah Celebi, paid special visits to the Dr J. P. Eustace Memorial High on Tuesday, 18th February, and the Intermediate High on Friday, 21st February, with the mission of imparting information about HIV/AIDS to Third Form students of the two secondary schools.

The workshops began with a video presentation of cases of sexually transmitted infections, like gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia. According to the facilitators, the main aim was to draw out reactions from the participants, in order to fully stimulate their interest in the subject.

Following this, a question-and-answer session ensued. The participants were asked to volunteer to select questions from a number of prepared questions and supply answers for a reward. At both schools, the workshops became very interactive, as with student responses, the Trinity facilitators provided further explanations.

Counsellor at the Intermediate High School Cutelyn Morgan noted that “At sessions like these, the content is always put in a negative way, but today it was very educationally presented.” She said that it was very informative and that even she had learnt some things. Counsellor Morgan explained that the students came from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and that the information could aid them in making good decisions.

Topics ranged from the difference between a virus and a bacterium, to what is the immune system, what is digital sex, and whether STIs increase one’s risk of acquiring HIV. Throughout the session, the pivotal message transmitted to the students was: “HIV is a virus. Once you have it, it is never going to go away. The symptoms can be treated, but the virus will always remain in the body of the infected.”

When asked for the objective behind doing such a project, Trinity School of Medicine student Charelle Smith remarked; “I see students at the bus-stop after school liming, hugging and doing other things. Parents are not always home to receive them and sometimes are not 100 per cent aware of what is happening. We just believe that this information could make them more aware of what is out there.”

At the end of both sessions, the students were asked to fill out a simple questionnaire, giving information about what they had learned and the questions they may still have. These, the Trinity team said, will assist in better understanding the concerns of students about the HIV/AIDS issue.