SEXUAL HEALTH EDUCATION WITH YOUTH COMMUNITY IN HONG KONG
In Hong Kong, the high HIV and STI prevalence among the youth population points to the lack of and poor sex education in schools. With that in mind, AIDS Concern Hong Kong launched a prevention and education project in 2019, aiming to equip vulnerable youths with the right knowledge, skills and attitude to tackle HIV and STIs. To optimize reach, AIDS Concern also adopted a youth-friendly approach with a social media outreach campaign.
Jodie Fung, Prevention Officer, AIDS Concern (pictured 2nd from right), manning the gaming booth.
At the booth, it was easier to initiate an in-depth and personal discussion with youths through games and smaller group consultations instead of the usual class lecture model. For young participants as well, it was easier for them to ask the questions they have in mind during these 1-on-1 consultations rather than in front of a big class.
What do you know about HIV?
It is near-impossible for one to express their first impression of HIV in public. So, why not put it on sticky notes and share an anonymous point of view? By looking at the board full of sticky notes, youths are able to reflect on how society perceives HIV/AIDS. Through educating the youths, we hope to change society’s impression of HIV/AIDS in the long run.
Encouraging condom carrying.
For youths – especially in Asia where taboo and stigma are still associated with condom purchase, carrying, storage and usage – many are reluctant to carry a condom around. To encourage condom carrying, fashionable condom cases which can also be carried around discretely were distributed on-site.
Putting on a Condom.
Many youths do not know the correct procedure of putting on a condom. AIDS Concern put together a game where participants would rank the steps of putting on a condom.
During the process, they would discuss the importance of each step with fellow participants. The most popular question for debate was deciding when to use a condom!
Avaem T Rika, Founder, Shibari For All, conducting a Shibari sharing session.
Aside from educating the youth, training professionals (such as social workers and teachers who work closely with the youth community) on sex positivity is important. Equipped with the right knowledge, they can respond positively to questions from youths with confidence and ease. Their support will go a long way to maximize social impact as well as foster a strong support system that allows and encourages youths to seek help from nearby sources.
AIDS Concern was established in 1990 as the first non-government charity organization committed to the service of AIDS care in Hong Kong. Our founders were dedicated to improving the living standards for people living with HIV; and to stop the spread of HIV. AIDS Concern facilitates public health education and awareness programs to eliminate misunderstandings about HIV/AIDS and create a more supportive society for early testing and treatment.