Published On: Wed, Dec 5th, 2012

More HIV-contagions among youngsters

WILLEMSTAD — The World Health Organization strives to prevent new HIV-contagions among children in 2015. This endeavor appears to be successful. Now it’s time for the adults. Last Saturday was the World Aids Day and also the Ministry of Health on Curaçao drew attention to this. Up to June this year 639 persons are registered as carrier of HIV-virus; 466 of them are being treated by a specialist. With the current supply of medicines people with the HIV-virus can live much longer. How many new cases of HIV-contagion have been registered this year is unknown yet to the ministry. On average it regards 80 to 100 new cases per year. This number is not decreasing but increasing actually.

HIV-positives could still pass on the virus though, for example by unsafe sex. This explains why the ministry and organizations like Cura+ focus on prevention. Cura+ is an organization that operates from the Pink House organization for homos, lesbians and transgenders.

Analysis and the increasing number of requests for counseling (60 percent this year compared to 2011) points out according to Cura+ that the number of HIV-contagions is indeed increasing among adults younger than 35 and even more so among young adults up to 25 years of age.

For the new year Cura+ will therefore focus on making youngsters aware of the importance of safe sex and the risks of unsafe sexual contacts. This means more education at secondary schools. However, for this Cura+ needs financial means, both from the government and the community. The government may give priority to combat aids among high-risk groups but in practice Cura+’s requests for assistance with this haven’t been granted as yet.

What Cura+ needs now is support to pay the rent of the advisory and counseling center and the assistance to clients. The advice line will be expanded next year with the service from Skype mita skuchabo, every Wednesday and Thursday between eight and eleven p.m. Also the personal consults at Pink House on Charlottestraat 60, Otrobanda, will continue. The telephone number is 462-6619 or 462-6616.

Cura+ points out that despite the emphasis on standards and values from a religious perspective, or promotion of sexual abstinence until the marriage, the reality is that sexuality is part of the human being, whereby everyone is eventually responsible for his/her behavior. That’s why education, particularly among youngsters and high-risk groups, is simply necessary, despite the criticism now and then.

“We must think about the HIV/aids epidemic every day, not only on December 1st, and if parents don’t have the necessary information to talk with their child they can also approach Pink House or Famia Plania.” After all, Cura+ also strives to bring the number of new HIV-contagions down to zero by informing people.

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