Sexual Education ‘Key’ – Positive Living North
Prince George, B.C. – Inclement weather didn’t deter around a hundred Prince George residents from participating in this year’s Scotiabank AIDS Walk.
Hosted by Positive Living North, the walkers gathered at Canada Games Plaza prior to the 1.5 km jaunt where they heard some startling statistics from Dr. Abu Hamour.
“HIV is still a challenge, there’s still an estimated 75,000 people living with HIV in Canada. The problem is that 1 in 5 of those people are unaware that they’re infected and that is the task we have,” he said.
“To find those that don’t know they’re infected so that we can help them with treatment and help them prevent the spread of HIV to their loved ones.”
He pointed out that Northern Health is doing what it can to address the matter by committing $1.59 million throughout the region as part of the provincial STOP HIV/AIDS initiative.
The money will go to eight agencies in communities across the north plus 23 First Nations communities (see previous story here).
Also on hand to participate in the walk were a group of Harwin Elementary School students.
Stacey Hewlett, an HIV educator with Positive Living North, was very pleased they got in on the day’s festivities.
“One of their youth care workers and one of their teachers thought it would be a good idea to bring them down and I’m absolutely thrilled to see them,” she said, noting the earlier kids are educated about sex the better.
“I think kids are talking about it at a really young age and as much as parents don’t like to acknowledge that it’s the truth of the matter so I educate as young as grade three in some cases. So this is important.”
Hewlett said it’s startling the kind of information kids have at their fingertips these days.
“A 10-year-old kid can type in porn on the computer and it changes their world and how they look at things. It’s terrifying and it’s changing the way young men look at sex and how to treat women. So education is key.”