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Performing Virus

Member of the audience changing a scene in the play

No; not like a virus circus that can only be viewed through an electron microscope. This was a notch better. Our Forum Theatre group staged a play about HIV AIDS- how the disease is contracted, how to protect yourself and wrong notions about the disease.

It was back on 10 December at the Royal Skills Centre Auditorium. It went pretty well with several interventions during each scene, questions raised, answers delivered and a happier not-so-oppressed character in the end.

A big thank you out to all of you who attended the performance! Keep watch of the blog; we’ll be posting teaser trailers of the next Forum Theatre performance- ‘Bohemian Pursuits’ which we’ll be performing for the Galle Literary Festival. Here’s hoping we see you there!

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Virus

The good news– Sri Lanka is a ‘low prevalent country’ for HIV AIDS.

The bad news– With the country’s precipitant development, the risk of HIV AIDS spreading wildly is a burning problem.

What’s worse- The youth are highly vulnerable to contraction of the virus due to the “increase in migration internally, externally and internationally due to economic, leisure, [and] displacement”- according to the Family Planning Association.

So ask yourself- do you know all there is to know about HIV AIDS? Did you know that the virus can be contracted due to momentary carelessness?

One of the best methods of prevention is to keep yourself informed and Beyond Borders is inviting you to a Forum Theatre production on HIV AIDS. Bring your friends too and watch the enthralling interactive play and discussion.

The event is for free. All you need to do is register here- online form.

Is AIDS a poor people’s disease?

Hans Rosling takes a look. Rosling is Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institutet and Director of the Gapminder Foundation. Gapminder developed the Trendalyzer software that converts international statistics into moving, interactive and enjoyable graphics. The aim is to promote a fact based world view through increased use and understanding of freely accessible public statistics. His lectures using Gapminder graphics to visualise world development have won awards by being humorous yet deadly serious, like this one.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qRtDnsnSwk]

R.E.A.C.H. Now 2008 — A Youth Conference on HIV/AIDS

Save Lanka Kids is organizing a youth conference on HIV/AIDS from 19-21 October 2008. Registration is free till the 9th of October 2008. From the Conference website :

R.E.A.C.H NOW ’08 is a three day conference organized by Save Lanka Kids (SLK) with the main objective of empowering us youth to be Change Agents. By providing us with a platform to share our experiences that affect us from different parts of this country, and helping us identify the gaps in key selected areas related to issues that affect us, and formulating a recommendation that is youth focused to be presented to policy makers in this country to effect a youth positive response.
We the youth are the future of this nation, but also the most vulnerable when it comes to HIV and AIDS. Therefore it is our duty to educate and empower one another by joining hands in one forum to share experiences, opinions, ideas related to prevention strategies in working with youth in and out of school, also specific approach in working with MARP (Most at Risk Population). 

Coming together to advocate for PLHIV addressing the Stigma and discrimination that continues to affect their lives, It is also important that we demand for a youth friendly approach in the response to HIV and AIDS in Sri Lanka, because it is our moment, our generation therefore our responsibility.

For More information, please visit the R.E.A.C.H ’08 site.

Sex Ed. can contain HIV/AIDS

Says Nimal Siripala de Silva, the Minister of Health care and Nutrition. The daily mirror reports ..

Sex education is absolutely necessary if Sri Lanka is to maintain its present low prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS and to contain the spread of this dreaded disease, [..]

Addressing a function held at Battaramulla to mark the World AIDS Day, Minister de Silva said Sri Lanka should not remain complacent about its achievements in the healthcare sector which is praised as one of the best healthcare providers in the region. “The sex education, on HIV/AIDS in particular in the school curriculum is sine qua non under the present context of human behaviour. Children are exposed to many challenges when they travel, study or participate in day to day activities and interact with others. The health ministry has held discussions with Education Minister, Susil Premjayantha in connection with introducing sex education into the school curriculum and the response has been positive,” Mr. de Silva said. [link]

Not only the health authorities but the people themselves must always be vigilant to prevent any increase in the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the country as the disease could develop into epidemic proportions at any time if we become complacent, he stressed.

We couldnt agree more. We are even more delighted that the education ministry has given a “positive response” on the matter. An encouraging development,  since from recently the Education ministry have sent out a circular to prohibiting any external entities from conducting Sex. Ed programs in Schools without explicit ministry approval.

The critical question will be what kind of Sex ed. we are talking about? hopefully it wont be Abstenence-only, in which case it would be useless.

A Workshop on Sexuality and HIV/AIDS

A workshop on sexuality and HIV/AIDS jointly organized by Beyond Borders, Rotaract club of Colombo-regent with the support of the Student Activity Club of APIIT (Asia Pacific Institute of Technology) was held at APIIT premises on the 29th of September 2007. The workshop saw the participation of young people from schools in and around Colombo. [Pictures]