Every human being has a right to education, especially when it comes to his or her own health. Same goes for the inmates of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s correctional facilities. Guided by the fact that sexually transmitted diseases know no boundaries, association “XY” based in Sarajevo, BiH, has been providing sexual education and training in BiH prisons for more than two years.
In the past month alone, through its project “Maximizing coverage of effective prevention of HIV among at-risk population” financed by the Global Fund, association “XY” has organized trainings for inmates of four correctional facilities giving them knowledge and skills to become peer trainers and continue educating other inmates at their facilities. Forty-Seven inmates, in total, have gone through these training sessions, learning about STDs, in particular HIV/AIDS, how they’re transmitted and how to prevent contracting them.
Prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Bosnia and Herzegovina is low. According to the latest data, at the end of 2010, there were only 170 registered HIV infected people, out of which 109 have developed AIDS. However, there’s a general stigma about HIV/AIDS, as well as discrimination against people suffering from this disease, that needs to be addressed by raising awareness and increasing education on this issue. Many people are still ignorant about HIV/AIDS and how it’s transmitted, including medical personnel. Research conducted by the Federal Institute of Health of BiH shows that 47.8% of the questioned health workers believe that HIV can be transmitted via mosquito bite, 60.4% avoid contact with personal items of patients with HIV/AIDS, while a staggering 99.5% condemns HIV positive people.
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