World AIDS Day - a day to remember those lost to the disease and to remind us that the epidemic is not over. An estimate of 36.9 million people is living with HIV worldwide.
This year, Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) kicked off the Safe Game campaign with the theme: “GETTING TO ZERO – I support zero new HIV infection”, to create awareness amongst secondary school students and their parents and to work towards zero new AIDS-related deaths, zero new infections, and zero HIV/AIDS related stigma.
Research has shown that there are a lot of unknown about HIV/AIDS which limits access to information and services. It is common for a person to wonder what is HIV/AIDS, how does one get it, how to get tested, and most importantly how to protect oneself from contracting HIV/AIDS.
Education is critical to remove the barriers in accessing HIV information and services. For this campaign RFHAF staff, volunteers, and peer educators join hands to conduct awareness-raising activities by inviting students showing their support for zero new HIV infection. Children got their face painted with red ribbon and the symbol was explained to them. RFHAF youths printed their own T-shirts which were used as uniform during the two-day Safe Games campaign in solidarity with people living with HIV.
Each year, IPPF ESEAOR members association, RFHAF is able to reach out to approximately 3,500 clients and render on average 10,500 counselling services.