NUST held its HIV/AIDS and Wellness campaign last week, where Dr Bernard Haufiku, the Minister of Health and Social Services, reiterated the call for people to get tested. The HIV/AIDS and Wellness Campaign is held annually to continuously raise awareness about the epidemic.
Speaking to an audience made up of the university members as well as high school learners, Dr Haufiku emphasised that whilst Namibia has made progress in fighting the virus, many people remain unaware of their HIV status.
“My appeal therefore to all is, especially men under the age of 25, please get tested. And if you are positive then take medication that will keep you healthy and you can truly treasure life,” the Minister said.
He went on to mention the various prevention methods such as, the use of condoms, maintaining monogamous relationships and using Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is an additional prevention option for those who are at high risk of contracting the virus.
“The fact that the world is still fighting this pandemic tells us that many people have been left behind – in gaining information and in getting treatment. I believe that schools and universities are ideal places to intensify our education and awareness campaigns,” said Dr Tjama Tjivikua, the NUST Vice-Chancellor.
Her Excellency Lisa Johnson, U.S. Ambassador to Namibia highlighted the various ways the Embassy and the Ministry of Health and Social Services have partnered to address the HIV/AIDS challenges in Namibia. She specifically spoke about the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Programme and its successes.
Local musician, The Dogg, who is the ambassador of the programme delivered an intriguing motivational talk and further gave a performance that kept the young crowd on its feet.
The event was sponsored by the American Embassy, Methealth Namibia, Nedbank and Coca-Cola, with support from Lifeline/Childline, ITEC Digital Solutions, the Cancer Association of Namibia, Namibia Planned Parenthood Association, Virgin Active, and Abt Associates (AIDSFREE).