HIV infection among youth in Cameroonian communities is high particularly among young women (3.5% nationally) due to inadequate HIV/AIDS education and unsafe sexual behavior. Most parents shy away from sex related topics with their children. HIV stigma and discrimination, cultural beliefs and gender norms limit HIV prevention, care, and treatment efforts among youth.
Our project is to scale up awareness and knowledge among youths in urban/rural settings concerning their health and sexuality with aim to reduce the transmission rates of HIV, other STIs and unintended pregnancies. At schools, community centers, neighborhoods in rural and urban areas, CDN provides sexual health awareness, link youths with health service providers, create exchange forums for parents/youths to talk about sex and sexuality, empower youths to make healthy decisions; and promote youth leadership.
We target youth with Behavior Change Communication and empower youth to make informed decisions. We will carry out voluntary counseling and testing (VCT); organize youth clubs and organize Parents Speak-up workshops to enable parents to talk about sex. We empower youths to lead education/advocacy in schools/communities around activities like sports and performances.