YHA and As’bangene share the responsibility at youth drive

YHA and As’bangene share the responsibility at youth drive

In the spirit of the theme- Global Solidarity and Shared Responsibility- Youth Health Africa (YHA) and As’bangene recently co-hosted a World Aids Day event at the Daveyton Mall east of Johannesburg.

The event focused on raising health awareness,  encouraging young people to test for HIV and assisting them in getting referred to starting antiretroviral treatment if found to be positive. Among the services offered during the fun filled day of giveaways, dance and music, were diabetes and COVID-19 screening.

YHA is a leading youth development and empowerment organisation in the health sector. An affiliate of The Aurum Institute, the organsiation works towards actively decreasing the spread of HIV and reduces the high levels of youth unemployment through a large-scale holistic programme equipping youth from heavily-burdened communities with knowledge and education about HIV and AIDS, as well as work experience.   

YHA Lead Partner, Pretty Sibanyoni said such events are important as young people are vulnerable to HIV through risky behaviours and lack of information or unequal agency in relationships. "We are facing issues such as sugar daddy/blesser and Ben 10 relationships and peer pressure, so it is important to encourage youth to know their status. We are the generation which could see the end of HIV, so we have to pull our resources to work towards that,” she said.

The partnership with Aurum’s As’bangene campaign, which promotes young people to engage in preventative measures and provides support for those diagnosed with HIV, made for a dynamic event catering for the specific needs of youth in Ekurhuleni.

Nontsikelelo Nkela attended the event and tested for HIV. “I did it because I want to know my status, it is important to me, otherwise I will always be afraid. I now know that I am negative and it has changed my outlook on life. I am now more determined to play it safe,” she said.

While focused on HIV, YHA and As’bangene also promote healthy lifestyles holistically.