High School Students Receive HIV/AIDS Education from Trinity SOM

High School Students Receive HIV/AIDS Education from Trinity SOM

Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines - by Gloria H. Williams

Students of the Dr. J. P. Eustace Memorial High and the Intermediate High Schools were, last week, given the opportunity to find out more about HIV/AIDS.  This was made possible as it formed part of an HIV/AIDS Outreach Programme undertaken by several students of Trinity School of Medicine. Three students: Afolami Fagorala, Cherelle Smith, and Sarah Celebi paid special visits to the Dr. J. P. Eustace Memorial High on Tuesday, 18th February, and the Intermediate High on Friday, 21st February with the mission of imparting information about HIV/AIDS to Third Form students of both secondary schools. The workshop began with a video presentation of cases of sexually transmitted infections, like gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia.  According to the facilitators, the main aim was to draw out reactions from the participants, in order to fully engage them in the subject matter.


Trinity SOM students community outreach in St. VincentFollowing on this, a question-and-answer session ensued.  The participants were asked to volunteer to select questions from a number of prepared questions and supply answers for a reward.  At both schools, the workshop became very interactive, as with student responses, the Trinity facilitators provided further explanations for the benefit of all.
Three students: Afolami Fagorala, Cherelle Smith, and Sarah Celebi paid special visits to the Dr. J. P. Eustace Memorial High on Tuesday, 18th February, and the Intermediate High on Friday, 21st February with the mission of imparting information about HIV/AIDS to Third Form students of both secondary schools.  
The workshop began with a video presentation of cases of sexually transmitted infections, like gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia.  According to the facilitators, the main aim was to draw out reactions from the participants, in order to fully engage them in the subject matter.
  
Following on this, a question-and-answer session ensued.  The participants were asked to volunteer to select questions from a number of prepared questions and supply answers for a reward.  At both schools, the workshop became very interactive, as with student responses, the Trinity facilitators provided further explanations for the benefit of all.

What was particular to the method of presentation was that the information was presented truthfully and in a very clinical manner.  Counselor at the Intermediate High School, Ms. Cutelyn Morgan, noted that, “At sessions like these, the content is always put in a negative way, but today it was very educationally presented.”  She said that it was very informative and that even she had learnt some things.  Counselor Morgan explained that the students came from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and that the information could aid them in making good decisions.
  
IHS Students eagerly participate in the education program by Trinity SOM studentsTopics ranged from the difference between a virus and a bacteria to what is the immune system, to what is digital sex, and whether STI's increase one's risk of acquiring HIV.   Throughout the session, the pivotal message transmitted to the students was: “HIV is a virus.  Once you have it, it is never going to go away.  The symptoms can be treated but the virus will always remain in the body of the infected.”

When asked for the objective behind doing such a project, Trinity School of medicine student, Ms. Charelle Smith remarked, “I see students at the bus-stop after school liming, hugging and doing other things.  Parents are not always home to receive them and sometimes are not 100% aware of what is happening.  We just believe that this information could make them more aware of what is out there.”

At the end of both sessions, the students were asked to fill out a simple questionnaire, giving information about what they had learned and the questions they may still have.  These the Trinity team, said, will assist in better understanding the concerns of students about the HIV/AIDS issue.  Other students can look forward to similar workshops to garner more information on HIV/AIDS.

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