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2006.11.16
Today's passengers during the morning rush hour in Southern Lesotho are a bit more upbeat than the usual commuter. These children are on their way to an event here that is breaking ground. A road show that gives children a voice through dance, theatre and education and helps them learn about AIDS. For some it is just plain fun, but for many it is an important chance to make their voices heard. Lesotho has the 3rd highest HIV rate in the world; the epidemic is so serious here that it threatens the very existence of the country. So, with the help of UNICEF, the youth of Lesotho are starting to talk about AIDS. Talk is one thing this event promotes action. In all 10 districts of Lesotho, HIV/AIDS counseling and testing is provided. For many of them it will be their first opportunity to get tested. Ramalitse Maisa: HIV/AIDS counselor "Here in Qacha's Neck this is very serious because young and old people are dying. So because they don't know about this they just die. The whole of Qacha's neck is happy at the moment because everyone has learnt about HIV and AIDS and now is familiar with HIV and AIDS." But there's reluctance and there is still stigma here with less than a dozen testing on this day. And until pending legislation is pushed through parliament, under 18s will be able to get counseling, but wont be able to test without parental consent. Something many youth are uncomfortable doing in this conservative society. Lesotho is making positive strides to save its future. And as the roadshow rolls on, the youth are becoming better armed to defend themselves against the onslaught of AIDS. This is David McKenzie in Qachas Neck. For every child, advance humanity *** Asset Name : The road show stops in Qachas Neck, Lesotho Asset Duration: 02 min 04 secs Shoot City: Qachas Neck Shoot Country: Lesotho Shoot Date: Dec 9 2005
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