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National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Akwa Ibom State held an awareness/sensitization procession to commemorate the World AIDS Day. The Corps members, who are members Peer Educators Trainers (PET) CDs group with the sole responsibility of Prevention And Control Of Hiv/Aids, held the sensitization to sensitise residents of their host community (IKOT EKPENE) on the need to stop the spread of the HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases.
The event with the theme: KNOW YOUR STATUS, featured a procession around Ikot Ekepene, where the Corps members enlightened residents on various ways by which HIV could be contracted, and the need to know their HIV status. There was also counselling session, free HIV test and distribution of contraceptives to the residents at the Plaza.
On how they benefited from the programme, one of the residents, who identified herself as Akan Precious, said: “The initiative is a welcome development, because it has enlightened us on the danger of the spread of HIV and how the disease could be prevented. We live our normal lives without knowing our HIV status. But with this programme, majority of the residents who benefited from this initiative now, and know their status.”
Another beneficiary, Etoro Okon, emphasised the need to sustain the programme. “Many are still unaware of this programme and still don’t know their HIV status. As much as I commend the Corps members for this event, I also want to suggest that the programme should be sustained, because it would help to curb the spread of HIV.”
The Head of Sensitization Pet Onwuka, Udeh Isaac, said the sensitization was created as a cardinal programme of the group because of the need to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS in rural areas.
The president of the CDS group, Pet Iteye Philips hailed members of the CDs group and officials of the Red Cross for their collaboration in ensuring the success of the programme.