Activities marking the commemoration of the World AIDS Day have started in Bunia

Prelude to the commemoration of the World AIDS Day on Thursday, 1 December, 2016, the HIV/AIDS Section of MONUSCO just organized a vast campaign of sensitization, voluntary and confidential counseling and testing at the premises of Bunia Council Hall, in the Ituri Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

One of the aims of this civic campaign, which features prominent on the programme of preparatory activities for this year's World AIDS Day, was to give vital information on HIV and AIDS. It was also meant to sensitize as much as possible the personnel of the Congolese National Police (PNC) on the effects and dangers of this global epidemic.

In collaboration with the police unit of MONUSCO (UNPOL), the sensitization of the PNC elements will continue in the next few days in their various workplaces throughout the city of Bunia and its environs. Already on Monday, 22 November, 2016, the atmosphere was really one of determination and maximum mobilization in the premises of the Bunia council hall.

From various PNC services, including the border police, the road traffic police - many of them came having in mind the same objective: Zero new HIV infection, zero discrimination, zero AIDS-related deaths as indicators of universal access to the prevention, treatment, and free-care of people living with HIV.

To demonstrate MONUSCO's determination and commitment to address the issue of this epidemic, which has continued to devastate the entire social and economic sectors of the world's population, basic notions of HIV and AIDS, ways of prevention, as well as sensitization on sexual violence based on gender, including voluntary counseling and testing were raised during the mass awareness session.

At the end of the awareness activities, MONUSCO's sensitization team urged their audiences to respect standard prevention rules, and to adopt responsible behaviour that allows them to know their HIV status through early, confidential, and voluntary testing.

It is also very important to note here that the awareness-raising programme already put in place by the HIV/AIDS Section of MONUSCO to fight HIV and AIDS in the DRC, include the training of Peer educators and HIV counselors, the free distribution of male and female condoms in collaboration with the Congolese government through the services of the Congolese National AIDS Control Programme (PNMLS).

Source: United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo

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