AN INCREASE in awareness on HIV prevention and condom promotion is a must for the country to overcome the challenges of complex gender and cultural factors that increases the risks, says an official.
A sales representative from the Population Services International, Barry Noel said most of the problems he faced in the awareness were culturally based.
“It is very difficult to put a bunch of men and women all together in the same room and teach them about safe sex and other sex-related issues,” he said.
He said because of gender issues and cultural norms, women were forbidden to sit with men to discuss the subject.
Women sometimes are put in a position where they feel inferior to ask their husbands about their affairs but submit to them in bed, resulting in them contracting the virus.
He said with the cultural hindrance, they had come up with ways to speak to a small number of people on the awareness.
“With a smaller number of people, like five and fewer, I can easily pass on the message I want to bring across because then they can easily interest each other,” he said.
Noel has been successfully using the methods to talk to people about HIV/AIDS and how it spreads.
He uses a betel nut as a method and compares it to the body of a person living with HIV/AIDS.
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