RC Mwanri made the call on Thursday when speaking at the official launch of a youth communication and advocacy forum dubbed ‘SITETEREKI’ aimed at educating young people on the better use of reproductive health and protect themselves from HIV/Aids.
He reminded the youth that HIV/Aids is still there, so they should refrain themselves from dangerous behaviours including unprotected sex.
It is estimated that about 100,000 Tanzanians between 15–49 years are newly infected with HIV each year.
The situation shows that the youth have started to forget about the existence of the disease with many of them engaging in using drugs and unprotected sex, he said.
Young people under the age of 25 are the ones who are at risk of the diseases so if they are not imparted with the right education on HIV/AIDS, they end up quashing their dreams.
Formed by the government through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender Children and Elders, the forum is focused on educating young people from the age of 15 to 24 to enable them change their behaviour and daily lifestyle that can endanger their lives.
The forum will enable young people in the country to remain healthy, engage in economic activities and have a better life.
“SITETEREKI will work on educating and encouraging young people on HIV testing, treatment and all related services like the right use of condoms…Increasing friendly services to the youth will be among the strategies towards eradicating new HIV new infections in the country,” he added.
Mwanri further highlighted that the youth group is the mainstay of manpower dependence of the country and that if the group remains powerful and healthy, the country’s industrialization drive will be realized easily.
Statistics show that about 1.4 million people are currently living with HIV, and approximately 11 percent of them are children under 15. Among young people aged 15 to 24 years, the average of HIV prevalence is 3.6 percent and is significantly higher among females than males.