Youth Programme
Youth and HIV/AIDS

In India people in the age group of 15-29 years comprise almost 25 percent of the country’s population; however, they account for 31 percent of AIDS burden. This clearly indicates that young people are at high risk of contracting HIV infection.

What Makes Youth Vulnerable?

What Makes Youth Vulnerable? Physiologically, young people are more vulnerable to STIs than adults; girls more than boys. Gender imbalances, societal norms and economic dependence contribute to this risk.

Lack of access to correct information (almost 73 percent of young people have misconceptions about modes of HIV transmission), tendency to experiment and an environment which makes discussing issues around sexuality taboo adds to their vulnerability.




Youth and HIV/AIDS

In India people in the age group of 15-29 years comprise almost 25 percent of the country’s population; however, they account for 31 percent of AIDS burden. This clearly indicates that young people are at high risk of contracting HIV infection.

What Makes Youth Vulnerable?

Physiologically, young people are more vulnerable to STIs than adults; girls more than boys. Gender imbalances, societal norms and economic dependence contribute to this risk.

Lack of access to correct information (almost 73 percent of young people have misconceptions about modes of HIV transmission), tendency to experiment and an environment which makes discussing issues around sexuality taboo adds to their vulnerability.

Vulnerable groups

Most young people become sexually active during adolescence. In the absence of right guidance and information at this stage they are more likely to have multi-partner unprotected sex with high risk behaviour groups. Particularly vulnerable are impoverished, unemployed, under-employed, mobile/migrant youth, adolescents in sex work, young injecting drug users and street children as they are faced with high risk behaviour in their everyday life. They are also less likely to have information on the risks of contracting HIV and means of protecting themselves from the infection. Such youth may face repeated risk of HIV infection through sexual exposure due to coercion or other compulsions.

Young women are biologically more vulnerable to HIV infection than young men – a situation aggravated by their lack of access to information on HIV and even lesser power to exercise control over their sexual lives. Early marriage also poses special risks to young people, particularly women. This is especially relevant for India, where almost 50 percent girls are married off by the time they are 18 years of age.

Adolescence Education Programme (AEP)

Reaching youngsters at an impressionable age before they become sexually active can lay the foundation for a responsible lifestyle, including healthy relationships and safe sex habits. NACO reaches out to youth through specially Designed and Managed By Adolescent Education Programme focused primarily on prevention through awareness building.

The Adolescent Education Programme was one of the key policy initiatives of NACP II. Ministry of HRD and NACO collaborated to develop this school-based programme that is implemented across 144,409 secondary and senior secondary schools with the objective of reaching out to about 33 million students within two years. AEP is implemented by the Department of Education in collaboration with the State AIDS Prevention and Control Societies.

The Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) aims at


• Co-curricular adolescence education in classes IX-XI
• Curricular adolescence education in classes IX-XI and life skills education in classes I- VIII
• Inclusion of HIV prevention education in pre-service and in-service teacher training and teacher education programmes.
• Inclusion of HIV prevention education in the programmes for out-of-school adolescents and young persons, and
• Incorporating measures to prevent stigma and discrimination against learners/students and educators and life skills education into education policy for HIV prevention.

Under the programme, teachers and peer educators are trained, who, in turn, conduct the programme amongst the student community. The programme covered 112,000 schools and trained 2,88,000 teachers. They have been provided reference material, which has been Designed and Managed By by NACO in collaboration with Ministry of HRD and vetted by NCERT.

Initiatives for Out-of-school Youth

A large number of young people aged 10-25 years, belonging to diverse groups of several sub-sets in terms of marital status and social background, are out of school in India. Their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS is particularly high owing to their limited understanding of the infection. Since there is no proven model for reaching out to ‘out-of-school youth’, a number of district-wide innovative programmes are initiated in all the states.

An analysis of 80 such youth-centric HIV prevention programmes provides a menu of options and tools for a scale-up for this target group. SACS are also implementing district-wide programmes on peer education to ensure coverage of 80 percent out-of-school youth in 59 high prevalence districts of India. Apart from this access to youth-friendly health services like counselling and treatment for STIs are being stepped up. Greater dialogue is being generated through innovative formats and platforms. Relevant messages on safe sex, sexuality and relationships are Designed and Managed By and disseminated for youth via posters, booklets, panels, hoardings and printed material.

YUVA

Youth Unite for Victory on AIDS A youth network, Yuva, comprising seven youth organisations, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, National Service Scheme, Indian Red Cross Society, National Cadet Corps, Bharat Scouts and Guides, Youth Hostels Association of India and the Association of Indian Universities, under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and NACO is working towards equipping the young people with prevention, education and life skills for promoting healthy and safe behaviour and practices amongst them. The ultimate goal is to have an “AIDS prepared Campus, AIDS prepared Community and AIDS prepared Country”.

Red Ribbon Club (RRC)

Red Ribbon Club is a voluntary on-campus intervention programme for students in educational institutions. It is initiated and supported by the SACS and implemented through multi-sectoral collaboration, particularly using the services of cadre officers of the State’s NSS. The club is proposed to be established in every school and college to provide youth with access to information on HIV/AIDS and voluntary blood donation. The club also works towards promotion of life skills to bring about behavioural change among the youth. Already RRCs are established in more than 16,000 schools and colleges.
 

Source : NACO Website


 List of Red Ribbion Clubs of Garhwal Region

 

 List of Red Ribbion Clubs of Kumaon Region

 

usacs