By Christopher Jator Njechu
The non-collection of test results after screening has been blamed for the rise in HIV/AIDS infection in Cameroon.
Researchers of the Yaounde-based Institute for Research, Socio-economic Development and Communication, IRESCO, have warned.
The researchers made this declaration after results of a research carried out among youths of ages 15-24 proved that, in about 100 people that voluntarily went in for the HIV test, only seven percent collected their results.
It revealed that many who did the screening test and failed to collect their results either feared stigmatisation or thought knowing their status will eventually lead to their death. The research also stated that only a few Cameroonians within this age group go in for voluntarily testing.
That is why IRESCO has embarked on a vast campaign to encourage young people to do the AIDS screening test. The coordinator of IRESCO, Jean-Paul Tchupo, told reporters in Yaounde that it is launching the campaign to encourage more youths to go in for the test, as this will help government to draw up measures to effectively combat the disease.
He said it is expected that at the end of the campaign more youths will not only find reasons to know their status, but equally use the results to better protect themselves.To this effect, the organisation has developed a movie, which will be shown on some TV stations around the country. Its audio version, he said, will be aired on various radio stations in partnership basis with IRESCO.
Tchupo said the project beckons for help from donors in that the organisation plans to translate the movie into other languages like English and some maternal languages in Cameroon. The campaign will be carried out in collaboration with Entre Nous Jeunes, Among Youths and Juniors, which are publications with focus on AIDS.