Youth panel hopeful about battle with HIV/AIDS

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Participants at a panel discussion organised by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Senegalese government sounded positive Monday about prospects in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The panel that was composed of Senegal's Youth, Environment and Public Hygiene minister Modou Diagne Fada and three world beauty queens campaigning at the instance of UNFPA, discussed the theme "Youth capacity building for action" as the 4th World Youth Forum rolled off in Dakar.
"We shouldn't think that we are fighting a lost battle," said Diagne as he urged that the fight against HIV/AIDS "should be at the heart of every development policy".
Botswana's Mpule Kwelagobe (1999 beauty queen) noted that her country was among the hardest hit with a fifth of its teachers HIV-positive, 35 percent of people aged between 15 and 49 infected, and life expectancy down to 29, from 40 years.
Describing HIV/AIDS as a major challenge for young people, Kwelagobe urged for a change of attitude among the youth, towards the scourge.
Lara Dutta from India (Miss Universe 2000) also noted that in the sub continent youth were the most affected, accounting for about half the country's 5.
5 million HIV/AIDS infected people.
Wendy Fitzwilliam from Trinidad and Tobago (Miss Universe 1998) bemoaned what she said was the lukewarm posture of the government in her country, where children become sexually active as early as the age of 10.

07 august 2001 21:47:00

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