" An awareness campaign for HIV/Aids, STIs and teen pregnancy for a responsible youth in Gabon "

Context

According to objectives set by the Millennium Development Goals, the rate of incidence of HIV/Aids in Gabon should be below 1.2 % in 2015. These objectives have not yet been reached in any of Gabon’s provinces. In 2012, the incidence of HIV/Aids reached 4.1 % among the general population, i.e. 41,000 people.

In certain areas (Provinces) such as Woleu-Ntem and Moyen-Ogooué in particular, numbers are particularly high: 7.2 %. Libreville conforms with the national average with a rate of close to 4 %

These are the facts which inspired the Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Foundation for the Family to commit its resources to an awareness campaign for the fight against HIV/Aids, sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy. 

This campaign, named SAFETY FIRST, comes under the Foundation’s Youth Initiative with the help of the Directorate General for the Prevention of Aids (DGPS).

For this purpose, the Foundation has produced an exclusive range of condoms branded You&Me by FSBO. Sporting the colours of the Foundation’s various initiatives, these condoms will be distributed free of charge to youngsters during an original and innovative campaign based on the necessity to protect oneself. This campaign, which above all aims to avoid moralising, will focus on bringing about awareness among our youth through fun and accessible events, to open their eyes to the risks of unprotected sex. 

Our message : « Safety First »

In Gabon, when it comes to HIV/Aids, we note:

  • an incidence of 4.1 % among 15 to 49 year-olds.
  • 41,000 people were living with HIV/Aids in 2012.
  • 65 per cent of newly infected cases among the 15 to 24 age bracket are young women.
  • Woleu-Ntem and Moyen-Ogooué are particularly affected by HIV/Aids.
  • One out of two young women having had more than one sexual partner during the previous 12 months reports having used a condom during the last sexual encounter vs. three out of four young men.
  • Young women aged 15 to 24 are a priority target for the campaign: in Gabon, they are proportionally far more affected by HIV/Aids than young men.

As for teen pregnancy:

  • 28 % of young women aged 15 to19 are already mothers. 
  • 31 % of people use contraceptives in Gabon.
  • 31 %  is also the proportion of women who claim to use a modern contraceptive method (the Pill or condoms).

These alarming figures not only show far too high a rate of HIV/Aids, but also, among the youth, far too slow a reduction in the incidence of the infection. There are two reasons for this: young people do not protect themselves enough, and condoms are too infrequently used. 

Education, support and awareness brought to Gabonese youth is now a real necessity .

Our objectifs
  1. To make the youth of Gabon, and in particular young women, more knowledgeable about HIV/Aids as well as about means of protecting themselves against it.
  2. To raise awareness among young people regarding the use of condoms as sole means of prevention of teen pregnancy and STDs. 
  3. To provide contraception (condoms):
  • To brake the taboo surrounding its use
  • To set up wide and efficient distribution
  • To target high-risk populations
Our message

SAFETY FIRST (Safety above all else)

A message aimed at young people:

  • To bring awareness surrounding the use of condoms as a means of protection against HIV/AIDS, STDs and teen pregnancy
  • To create a community of conscious and responsible young Gabonese
  • To help bring about a change in behaviour
  • To create an understanding of the correlation between caution and a healthy future
Activities

Three types of activities will be conducted alternately: awareness campaigns on the ground and “SAFETY FIRST” camps. 

  1. The awareness campaign in Libreville and Estuaire will start on 11 March 2015

- during the week, meetings with young people in their own surroundings, in their everyday environment. 

- instigation of a dialogue around the topic of HIV/Aids and teen pregnancy with our volunteers trained by DGPS, youth awareness about the situation in Gabon, the risks they face, potential consequences on their future life and protection means at their disposal 

- You&Me by FSBO condom distribution particularly targeting high risk populations such as young women. 

 2. A “SAFETY FIRST Camp” in Libreville offering a variety of awareness activities and personalised advice in an approach we refer to as “Edu-tainment”. A “SAFETY FIRST” Camp set up in Libreville four Sundays in a row opposite the School Hygiene Centre to bring about awareness, educate, listen and advise young Gabonese people. 

3. A travelling "SAFETY FIRST” caravan visiting the capital cities of the main provinces.

- awareness, education and personalised advice as well as condom distribution. 

Results

  • 80,000 condoms distributed freely
  • 32,000 people informed about HIV/AIDS and methods of contraception
  • 130 young people trained as volunteers

For this campaign like for the Pink October campaign, we rely on your support and on your participation. 

Only together will we manage to come close to zero tolerance; only together will we manage to turn teen pregnancy into a rare occurrence in our society.