ADVERTORIALChurch Youths in Sarmi Were Provided Knowledge About VCT

Church Youths in Sarmi Were Provided Knowledge About VCT

JAYAPURA, SUARAPAPUA.com—Department of Diaconia of the GKI Synod in Tanah Papua through the ‘STAYS’ program, in collaboration with West Sarmi GKI Presbytery, Sarmi Health Center and  Christian Education Foundation -YPK Ebenhaezer Sarmi High School held a socialization on the importance of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) in preventing HIV and AIDS transmission.

The socialization activity which was held from 30th -31st of August 2021 in the hall of the West Sarmi GKI Presbytery Office and the YPK Ebenhaezer Sarmi High School hall was focused on representatives of parents, teachers and youth of the GKI church in Sarmi.

The Straight Talk Among Youths in School (STAYS) program itself is a program that focuses on how to speak openly among youths and in schools about the dangers of HIV and Aids, sexually transmitted diseases, gender-based violence and reproductive health.

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This VCT socialization in preventing the transmission of HIV and AIDS is a follow-up activity, Secretary of Diaconia Department of the GKI Synod in Tanah Papua, Rev. Esron Abisay said that since the COVID-19 became Pandemic, to avoid contracting Covid-19, everyone is required to follow all health protocols. so it should also be the same for the prevention of HIV and AIDS.

“We must follow health protocols, such as maintaining healthy sexual behavior and also receive correct information about the importance of VCT, so that we can know our health status clearly. Besides paying attention to our health, we also have to maintain the immunity of faith so that we don’t easily fall into temptation,” said Rev. Esron Abisay.

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In addition, he expressed his sincere gratitude to dr. Queen Putri and dr. Endah Purwaningtias, two speakers from Sarmi’s health Centre who have given a good explanation to the participants.

Para pemuda gereja yang sedang mengikuti penyuluhan di aula Kantor Klasis GKI Sarmi Barat. (Stays – SP)

Dr. Queen in her presentation to the youths participants says that HIV is a dangerous disease, because there is no medicine that can kill the virus yet. The ARV drugs that have been given so far are supplements to get and improve the immune system of PLWHA, but do not kill the virus.

“Therefore, the first step to ensure that we are healthy and free from the HIV virus is through voluntary counseling and testing (VCT). VCT is very important because only through a test we can know our status for sure and there is no other way,” said dr. Quen.

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She also urged everyone to maintain good behavior by not having multiple sex partners. We must be self-aware.

“If our behavior is not good, it means we have to change and immediately check our health. Don’t wait for symptoms to appear and then going for check/test.”

Dr. Gbombo Bachongo Raymond, a health consultant at the Diaconia Department of synod GKI and also as the coordinator of the STAYS program conveyed the purpose of the socialization carried out to the three target groups, was so that information about the importance of VCT could be known by the participants.

“Hopefully it can be shared with other youth friends, children at home and students at school,” he concluded.

 

Reporter: Elisa Sekenyap

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