The youth population in Liberia is the larger portion of the entire population in the country and it is still growing tremendously.
As the population of the nation grows the amount of people who stand the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS also increase as well; which calls for massive awareness and prevention measures are put in place to tackle the spread of the virus.
Last Thursday, the Population Services International (PSI) SMART Choice conducted the third annual HIV/AIDs Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) promotional event at the Young Men Christian Association gymnasium on Crown Hill, Broad Street.
The promotional event held under the theme “Live at the Y” attracted many young people living within Monrovia and its environs to come up and know their HIV status and be counsel on what to do to avoid contracting the virus.
According to the Liberia Demographic and Health Services (LDHS) report in 2007, the average national prevalence of HIV in Liberia was at about 1.5% with infection levels varying from 2.5% in urban areas and 0.8% in rural areas.
The recent “Live at the Y” event was an educational campaign that was intended to help encourage healthy choices and responsible sexual behavior among young people and the Liberians populace as a whole.
During the 2009 edition of the Live at the Y, give more than 200 persons a chance to be tested to know their HIV status and promote a healthy HIV/AIDS negative live.
This year’s event sought to increase the amount of people receiving VCT services and reinforced the importance of young people knowing their through interactive outreach activities such as HIV quiz shows and debate which was broadcast on UNMIL Radio 91.5 FM.
There were also entertainment such as basketball tournament, slam dunk competition and Liberian musicians to massage away the stigma or phobia associated with being tested for AIDs.
At least about four high schools participated in the tournament which was won by the College of West Africa (CWA) basketball team.
The turnout for this year’s event was put at about 300 participants which show that the awareness against the virus is relatively increasing.
One of the attendant being tested for HIV/AIDS