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» » » Graduate alive, students told

Peer educators n facilitators from national aids council

Samkelisiwe Ngwenyama

– "HIV/Aids is not a myth, it is real and let us play safe if we are to graduate alive and make a positive contribution to the society that educated us."
This was the message that dominated discussions during the Midlands State University (MSU) HIV music festival at Zvishavane campus last Friday.
The event was organised by MSU peer educators with the help from MSU Health Services Department and Young People's Network from the National Aids Council (Nac) under the theme "Closing the tap of new HIV infections on campus"
Hundreds of students came for the event and shared knowledge and words of encouragement on how to beat the negative pressures of university life.
"There is no point in coming to university and getting a good education then lose it all when you get infected by HIV which can lead to Aids. I urge you all to value your lives and the sacrifices that your parents or guardians are making to send you to school by adopting decent behavior," said MSU peer educators leader Praise Masunga.
Masunga also called upon all tertiary institutions to be more committed in the fight against HIV and Aids through extensive awareness programmes and urged students to abstain from sex or to at least use condoms to prevent STIs and unwanted pregnancies.
Health practitioners who attended the event said female students who get pregnant must get tested for HIV in the early stages of the pregnancy in order to put the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMCT) process into action.
At the same event, tudents were given a platform to get free HIV testing and counselling in total privacy.
Various prizes were also given to students who composed HIV-themed songs in the spirit of spreading awareness.
Meanwhile, on the same day other MSU students held a Sexual Harassment and Gender Based Violence awareness campaign at Gweru main campus.
It started with a march in town as a way of engaging both the Gweru community and MSU students to increase awareness on how to handle GBV cases and know where to report cases.
One of the key issues that were discussed are that GBV is not limited to women alone as there are also men who are victims.
Pylaia Chembe, the SRC member responsible for gender and women affairs, during her speech, said sexual harassment was a vice which must be defeated wherever it exists.local

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