Keeping DREAMS alive

19 September 2019 | Education

The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) had its annual HIV/AIDS Awareness and Wellness Campaign last week, themed Knowledge is power.
The event aims to promote information and increase knowledge about HIV/AIDS among young people in Namibia, as many remain unaware of the deadly virus.
The United States Embassy through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), has activity been working with the Namibian government to eradicate HIV/AIDS.
PEPFAR, which is data-driven, reports that women between the age of 15 and 29 years are more likely to contract HIV in comparison to men their age. This is why programmes like DREAMS – an acronym for Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored and Safe – have been developed to reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women. DREAMS has so far reached 15 000 adolescent girls and young women in Namibia since its implementation. “[The programme] does so by giving them safe spaces, education, economic skills and access to family planning and reproductive health services,” said US ambassador Lisa Johnson at the event.
“For young men, the voluntary Medical male Circumcision Program (VMMC), targeting young men between 15 and 29 years since when you are circumcised, data shows that you are 60% less likely to contract HIV.”

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