HIV/AIDs is a devastating problem rarely discussed in Fundong, Cameroon. Discussing HIV/AIDs, STIs and even safe sex practices is incredibly taboo in Kom culture. To address this BFF will will invite marginalized at-risk youth to a month long summer camp addressing HIV/AIDs and sex education. Creating this safe space for youth to come together in order to discuss and learn about HIV/AIDs, safe sex and other STIs is the next effective step to not only raise awareness but change the paradigm.
It has been reported that only about 33% of Cameroonian youth are aware of how HIV is transmitted. Upwards of 550,000 people are living with HIV/AIDs in Cameroon. HIV prevalence hoovers around 5%. These staunch statistics are result of a myriad of variables. However, one of the most imposing reasons these statistics exist is that talk of safe-sex is an incredibly taboo subject here in Cameroon-- especially in the Northwest Region. Cultural norms do not permit families to discuss safe-sex.
This project aims to create a safe space for at-risk youth to discuss their misconceptions regarding HIV/AIDs and other STIs while giving them an opportunity to learn the correct information regarding prevention, transmission, testing, stigmas and even treatment. In order to bridge cultural taboos BFF has partnered with members of Nourish Intl' to facilitate the summer camp's health talks-- this way we can assure students will be more willing to open up while discussing HIV & other taboo topics.
Sensitizing youth and empowering them with the correct knowledge regarding HIV/AIDs (as well as other STIs and safe-sex practices) is an attempt to bring these topics from taboo to the dinner table. This project works at changing the collective paradigm regarding sex, sex education and all the related diseases in order to ultimately reduce the incidence of STIs and HIV.