Windhoek- Namibia (PANA) -- Namibian president Sam Nujoma Tuesday urged the country's youth to change their attitudes towards AIDS and to make use of HIV/AIDS information readily available to them.
In a speech read on his behalf during an AIDS awareness campaign themed, "Change your attitude - AIDS is real," the president said: "Every tertiary learning institution, the government, office bearers and citizens should address our state of being, the way to live and behave, the way to educate, the way to care for the sick and weak and the way we plan for the future.
" He said there are signs that the epidemic can be controlled, and there has been a significant reduction in the number of sexually transmitted diseases in the same way as HIV.
Also speaking, Namibia's Higher Education, Training and Employment Creation Minister Nahas Angula cautioned the youth not to contribute to the tragedy of leaving behind AIDS orphans.
Angula said that the youth should start making personal decisions about their future.
"It is easy to say condomise, but there are certain risk factors, especially in the environment around us, that should be taken into account," he noted.
Angula lashed out at young people who frequent Maerua Park, which he said should rather be named "Sodom and Gomorrah Park" because it is "scandalous" and because "that is where the monster (HIV/AIDS) is lurking.
" Maerua Park is an entertainment complex in the southern part of the city, hosting restaurants, amusement parks, a cinema and other joints of leisure.
The minister said the social side of the illness is often ignored, adding that perhaps young people should have safer places to socialise to make them stay away from risky areas.
He said that in the past young people were encouraged to become Boy Scouts and Girl Guides as well as to religious youth groups.