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Soccer/Netball at the Beach: Teens/Youth participate in sports at Kisubi Beach 2005
Africa Youth Miistries Out of School Soccer Program
Above are the beneficiaries of the Project doing
their evening soccer training.
Since the first official recognition of HIV/AIDS, the virus has affected an estimated 42 million people. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region that is the worst affected with 29.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS – three million of whom are children under the age of 15 and further ten million of whom are youths between the ages of 15 and 24. An estimated 1.18 million young people aged between 15 and 24 are living with HIV/AIDS. Young people are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection and often carry the burden of caring for sick family members. Their vulnerability is exacerbated by ignorance. The course of the epidemic will depend on efforts put in place to protect youth from sexual exploitation and prevention of STI’s (including HIV), particularly among vulnerable groups.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Uganda is hitting youth hard. About seven of every 10 new HIV infections among females occur among those ages 15-24. High pregnancy rates among youth are also a major concern. Just on May 18th 2006, as the world marked the ninth International AIDS vaccine awareness day, the Director General of the Uganda Aids Commission, Dr. Kihumuro Apuuli, said despite the foreign aid inflow, the rate of people acquiring HIVAIDS was still increasing. He was quoted as saying that 2005, an estimated 130,000 Ugandans got infected compared to 70,000 in 2003. Similarly, available statistics show that over 600,000 Ugandans are living with AIDS, and since the 1st HIV/AIDS case identified in 1982 in the District of Rakai, the epidemic is said to have orphaned over 1.8 million children.
According to various interviews carried out by Africa Youth Ministries Uganda, “There is a clear correlation between aspiration and sexual behaviour. Young people who feel confident about their future and in control of their lives tend to display more responsible sexual behaviour. It follows therefore that developing the potential and self-regard of a young person is essential to reducing HIV/AIDS, STIs and teenage pregnancy.”

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