Escom youth hold open day on HIV/AIDS, Malawi News

Date: January 1, 1970
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The article reports on how the ESCOM youth have undertaken to refrain from promiscuous behaviour to prevent themselves from contracting HIV.

This article can be used to:
1. Start discussions about gender and HIV.
2. Show how a greater range of sources makes a stronger article.
Trainer’s Notes:  The article uncritically accepts views that perpetuate a number of stereotypes.  “Promiscuous” behaviour is blamed for the spread of HIV/AIDS and abstinence is promoted in the article as the only measure to reduce the spread of HIV.  While abstinence is an important aspect of prevention, it raises particular issues for women, especially young women, and these are not explored at all.  The article also perpetuates stereotypes of women, in that they are portrayed as weak and reliant on men.  The behaviour of the boys, in “dumping” girls and looking for “new affairs”, is not challenged as risky behaviour that may lead to the spread of HIV.  
Discussion Questions
1. The article can be used to discuss the role of abstinence as part of prevention strategy in the struggle against HIV/AIDS, and examine the gender issues inherent in abstaining from sex (are married women permitted to deny sex to their husbands? if a young man is not having sex, how will his peers view him?)
2. What are the gender differences when it comes to HIV/AIDS prevention.
Training Exercises:
1. Trainees can be asked to make a list of all the stereotypes that appear in the article and then suggest ways that the article may be rewritten without the them. 
Links to Training Resources: Gender and HIV/AIDS: A Training Manual for Southern African Media and Communicators, Gender Links and the AIDS Law Project, Chapter 4 pdf  and Chapter 10

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