Youth Prevention

In Malawi, although the overall HIV prevalence rate has begun to fall slightly to 10.8%, the rate amongst youth in the 15-24 age group has actually been rising with the highest rates for the girls. Sex before marriage and unfaithfulness in marriage still account for over 85% of new HIV infections in Malawi and to date, National AIDS prevention campaigns have had little impact on behaviour change. This leaves the church with a real opportunity to promote godly lifestyle choices of abstinence before marriage and faithfulness within marriage as the best way to prevent the spread of HIV. The Malawi HOPE for AIDS Prevention project has two peer education programs working with youth and married couples respectively. The project has supported the development of specially written teaching materials in Chichewa, which are used by peer educators who aim to reach their peers within the context of long term friendships which encourages positive peer pressure and provides a more conducive environment for genuine behaviour change. To date 150 peer educators have been trained representing over 50 churches. The program also works with peer educators to seed fund on-going AIDS related ministries in their churches after completion of the church & community courses.

Youth Prevention

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