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 The old problem for new students: about HIV, AIDS, sexually transmitted infections for young indigenous people

LIENIP NewsFrom 16 to 17 October 2011 in Krasnoyarsk there was a seminar "Prevention of HIV infection, STIs among young people. Reproductive health". The seminar was organized by the Regional Public Organization “Information and Legal Center of Indigenous Peoples of Krasnoyarsky Kray”, Krasnoyarsk Regional Public Organization "We are against AIDS" with financial support of inter-regional public organization “Lauravetlan Information and Education Network of Indigenous Peoples”. 25 students of the Krasnoyarsk College of Radioelectronics, Economy and Management – representatives of various indigenous peoples: Yakuts, Tuvinians, Dolgans, Khakas – took part in the seminar.

The purpose of the seminar was to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS issues, development of skills to prevent HIV infection and sexually transmitted infections among adolescents. The main objectives of the workshop was to determine the level of awareness among the adolescents about the problem, to provide true information about ways of HIV transmission, HIV testing, safe sex and ways to prevent infection, as well as to create prerequisites for a tolerant behavior in case of contacts with HIV-positive people, to define the concept of tolerance regardless of field it is used in. The trainers of the workshop were psychologists from Regional State Budget Medical Institution “Center” Yelena Knyazeva and Lyubov Senyushkina.

The methods of work used were socio-psychological training, game technique, brainstorming, group work, questioning, role play, with audio-visual aids.

At the initial stage of training the knowledge of participants on HIV/AIDS, STIs was very low. Before the beginning of an information block, the participants were divided into 3 groups. Each group answered the question: 1. Is the problem of HIV/AIDS important for Krasnoyarsk and Krasnoyarsk region? 2. What should every person do to avoid HIV, STIs? 3. The main ways of transmission of HIV, STI.

This exercise showed that participants were not informed about HIV transmission. They believed that HIV infection is curable at an early stage, that insects are carriers of infection and that virus can be caught in a sauna, swimming pool or a hospital.

Information units of the workshop such as "Problems of HIV infection," "Tolerant attitudes toward HIV-positive people", "The main sexually transmitted infections" were held in a free form of discussion that contributed to an active participation of students in work and better learning of the material.

At the end of the second working day, there was a game "Risk rate", which showed that the level of the participants' knowledge on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections became significantly higher.

At the end of the training, the participants shared their impressions about what they had heard. “I liked everything, it was interesting”. “I'm surprised that people can live a long time with such a disease like HIV. I did not know it before”. “I did not know that we have such a great number of infected people in Krasnoyarsky Kray”. “I have always believed that we must fear HIV infection when using public toilets, sauna, swimming pool. And now I know that it is impossible to catch HIV in this way”.

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