A touching film about a family living with the discrimination caused by HIV and AIDS was the catalyst for an open and frank dialogue among young people attending the Poetry Festival Panel Discussion on Monday. The film 'Out of the Box' by Elspeth Duncan depicts an HIV positive mother and her children who do not have the virus, talking about the reactions from the rest of the community to their situation.
In discussing the main theme of the session 'The Role of the Media in Resisting Stigma and Discrimination' a number of important and concerning points came out. According to the young people present there is still a high prevalence of unprotected sex among their age group. Additionally, they admit that young people do not educate themselves about HIV and refuse to get tested either out of embarrassment, fear or simple ignorance.
They pointed out that another important reason for young people not being as proactive as they should be, is the perceived general lack of tolerance to the issue. This lack of tolerance they say, leads to insensitivity in the community and lack of confidentiality.
At the end of the discussion some very real solutions were recommended:
We would like to thank the young people for their contributions and at Idakeda will continue to do our part to make a difference.
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