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Youth clinics raise HIV/AIDS awareness
Thursday 21 October 2004
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MADAGASCAR: Youth clinics raise HIV/AIDS awareness

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


Condom use on the increase among the youth

JOHANNESBURG, 9 September (PLUSNEWS) - The use of condoms has steadily climbed among Malagasy youth as the government and NGOs increase their efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of unsafe sex.

According to Population Services International (PSI), an American non-profit organisation, safer sex campaigns targeting young people were as important as service delivery.

In January 2001, PSI launched a "franchise" of adolescent reproductive health clinics called TOP Reseau. The clinics, now numbering 83 in four provinces across the country, provide affordable reproductive health services to people aged 15 to 24.

The health service is complemented by an aggressive communication campaign motivating the youth to adopt safer sex practices, including abstinence, consistent condom use and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

PSI noted that a survey undertaken 12 months after it had implemented its programme among young people in the western province of Toamasina in 2002 had shown an increase in positive attitudes towards condom usage.

Thirty-five percent of males with "high programme exposure" reported consistently using a condom with casual partners, compared to 22 percent of males with "low programme exposure".

However, the NGO acknowledged that just 7 percent of respondents had ever visited a TOP Reseau clinic, despite having being exposed to the supporting communication message.

"In light of the small number of youth who sought STI [sexually transmitted infections] treatment at TOP Reseau clinics, future programmes should attempt to increase the perceived need and attractiveness of clinic," PSI said.

At the end of 2003 the HIV prevalence rate in Madagascar was estimated at 1.7 percent. A 1997 survey suggested that 50 percent of 15- to 24-year-old women had never heard of an STI, over 30 percent had never heard of AIDS and only 11 percent reported ever using a condom.


Recent MADAGASCAR Reports
Island nation steps up HIV/AIDS efforts,  9/Apr/03
Island nation gets Global Fund assistance,  17/Feb/03
VIH Internet
Sida Info Services
Le Fonds mondial de lutte contre le SIDA, la tuberculose et le paludisme
Le Réseau Afrique 2000

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