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July 3, 2024

Karongi: Caritas Rwanda organized an in schools campaign focusing on the importance of early HIV diagnosis

In order to raise awareness about the significance of early HIV diagnosis, adherence to treatment, viral load suppression, and combating stigma and discrimination among adolescents in secondary schools, Caritas Rwanda conducted an awareness campaign calling the Karongi District in school students to do HIV voluntary testing, on 27 and 28 June 2024.

The message was conveyed through football matches, drama, debates and poetry by students from the following schools: Groupe Scolaire Saint Michel (Mubuga Sector), Groupe Scolaire Saint Nicolas (Bwishyura Sector), Groupe Scolaire Saint Joseph Birambo (Gashali Sector) and Ecole secondaire TSS Ngoma (Rugabano Sector).

Caritas Rwanda staff involved in this activity encouraged these young people to get tested for HIV accompanied by their parents for those under 18, in order to know their status, and to take ARV immediately in case the test turns out to be positive. The messages also focused on sexual abstinence, the fight against discrimination and stigma against HIV positive people.

Jeanne Manirareba, one of the Caritas Rwanda’s staff, delivering the day’s message at the Karora football pitch.

During the football matches, the Groupe Scolaire Saint Nicholas emerged victorious with a score of 3-0 against the Groupe Scolaire Saint Michel, at the Karora football pitch on 27/06/2024. On the next day, at the Birambo football pitch, the Groupe Scolaire Saint Joseph Birambo won with a score of 7 against 0 of Ecole Secondaire TSS Ngoma. The winning teams received a trophy and a football ball.

On this occasion, there was a debate presented by the anti-AIDS club of the Group Scolaire Saint Joseph Birambo, with the following theme: “abstinence is the safest way to prevent HIV among young people”. It was the affirmative camp that won.

This campaign is part of the Faith Initiative Project funded by Caritas Internationalis through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It is implemented in four countries namely: Ivory Coast, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.