On the occasion of the 1st December, the World AIDS Day, a humanitarian organization Genesis Project from Banja Luka organized an interactive lecture “Let’s grow together”, on AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases in the “Petar Petrović Njegoš” primary school in Banja Luka.
The lecture intended for the seventh, eighth and ninth grades, has been well accepted by pupils, who answered questions about HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. The interactive lecture is a part of the same project, “Let’s grow together”, which is carried out under the patronage of the Embassy of Netherlands, and which primary objective is to raise awareness and knowledge of teachers, parents and children about human and children’s rights, but also about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, the potential risks and ways of social inclusion of vulnerable groups.
The project is being implemented with the support of relevant ministries and it includes 80 primary schools in the the western part of the RS and the Central Bosnia Canton.
In addition to the abovementioned project, the Genesis Project also pays great attention through their other activities to education about sexually transmitted diseases and the studies to date on this topic have shown alarming results.
As part of the “What adults do not understand” project, entry and exit survey was done within which the questions about HIV and AIDS were answered by pupils from 20 primary school in BiH. Before the start of the project and training 45 percent of children believed that to suffer from HIV and from AIDS is the same, and even approximately 36% of pupils considered that children under 7 years of age and persons over 50 years can not be infected with HIV / AIDS.
Children were in a large percentage considering that one can be infected with HIV even by shaking hands, using public toilets and swimming pools, using the same eating utensils as the infected one and staying in the same room with an infected person, which directly leads to such behavior that leads to discrimination against vulnerable groups and HIV-positive individuals. An impressive percentage of children in the entry test estimated that a protected sex is an intercourse with regular use of birth control pills or an intercourse with a person of the same sex, whereas only 35% knew that the protected sex is only an intercourse with the use of condoms.
This ignorance naturally leads even to certain risk behavior.
It is important to say that this percentage of ignorance has been drastically reduced after the completion of the project within which the pupils attended workshops and lectures.
At the exit survey the largest percentage of respondents gave correct answers, which speaks of the need for constant education of children and pupils on these topics.