The HIV/AIDS Awareness Project is a joint Vietnam Youth Union - Health and Education Volunteers effort, funded by USAID, to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in Hanoi. The project is built on a peer to peer approach in which five Youth Against AIDS Teams deliver information to other youth on HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention. The goal is to increase knowledge and behavior changes. The Teams are working in five Wards of Hanoi that have large number of youths.
Over the past months the Teams have been actively engaged in various types of information, education and communication efforts. They have operated outreach efforts at local cafés and designed and distributed educational materials as well as organized group discussions and peer counseling. These activities were specifically designed by each team to meet the individual needs of the Team’s target group and community. Team members are starting to overcome their shyness and now feel more comfortable talking about HIV/AIDS-related issues.
In addition to their work in the Wards, the Teams participated in events related to World Aids Day in late November. The events took place at the Vietnam Youth Institute and the Youth Cultural Center in Hanoi and attracted thousands of youths who participated in concerts, plays, games, a fashion show and Q&A sessions, focusing on HIV/AIDS and related issues. The overall theme of the events was overcoming the stigma attached to and discrimination towards people living with HIV/AIDS.