Education and Prevention of HIV and AIDS
August 02, 2006, —
A CRS partner in Bolivia recognizes World AIDS Day with an AIDS expo.
Compared with other countries in the region and around the world, the HIV prevalence rate in Bolivia is relatively low. But, ask the average Bolivian about the transmission of HIV and AIDS, and they will most likely not be able to give you a complete answer. To improve knowledge about the HIV pandemic, CRS has promoted HIV and AIDS prevention and education campaigns among at-risk populations in Bolivia for almost 10 years. The project seeks to reduce the incidence of HIV and AIDS in the youth population through information, education and training campaigns regarding sexuality and healthy behaviors. Actions focus specifically on sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and AIDS in schools in Santa Cruz and Cochabamba.
The project works with teachers and students and has reached approximately 100 educational centers in the department of Santa Cruz, helping to incorporate disease education into curriculums. In Santa Cruz, the project has carried out several events, including fairs and expositions. In addition to these education and prevention activities, the project also focuses on promoting the respect of human rights and dignity of people living with AIDS among the general population of Santa Cruz.
To date, the project has reached approximately 150,000 people through its various activities. However, the work is not done. Bolivia has a low reported incidence of HIV as of 2006, but the population in general is unaware of the risks of HIV and how it is transmitted. The challenge for CRS and local partners is to expand and replicate successful initiatives to reach a wider Bolivian audience so that the epidemic, which has grown significantly in recent years in neighboring Argentina and Brazil, does not expand in Bolivia.