To celebrate World AIDS Day on December 1st 2012, the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) facilitated a HIV/AIDS peer education programme to transition year students in Ireland. These workshops explored the stigma associated with HIV and challenged both direct and indirect discrimination experienced by people living with HIV in Ireland. The workshop also informed students on the experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries, which we hope will encourage young people living in Ireland to be aware of the circumstances of their peers in developing countries.
To mark World AIDS Day 2012, the IFPA also launched a new HIV/AIDS information clip to inform young people on the importance of sexual health while also helping to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS in Ireland.
Anita Ghafoor-Butt, IFPA Education & Training Coordinator, said, “Open dialogue about sexuality in relation to HIV/AIDS is of the utmost importance. Stigma associated with HIV/AIDS gets in the way of negotiating safer sex and condom use, can cause reluctance in getting tested and can create fear amongst those living with HIV/AIDS.”
“Underlying social and economic factors such as poverty and gender inequality contribute to both HIV transmission and poor sexual and reproductive health. On a global level the overwhelming majority of HIV infections are sexually transmitted or associated with pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.”
“The risk of transmitting HIV from men to women is much higher than from women to men. This is in part because of the biological make up of women. Women are also at risk because gender inequality tends to put women and girls at a disadvantage when negotiating safer sex and condom use.”
“Linking initiatives to improve sexual and reproductive health and initiatives to address HIV/AIDS multiplies opportunities for preventing and treating sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Linking initiatives also provides improved family planning and maternal and child health services, as well as treatment and care for people living with HIV.”
The IFPA is committed to the rights of every person to have access to accurate and non-judgmental sexual and reproductive health and rights information.
Becoming aware of these rights enables people to make healthy informed choices.
For information on IFPA education and training programmes, please contact email@example.com
The Irish Family Planning Association would like to thank and acknowledge the contribution to its work by Irish Aid.