MASYAP, through the Youth Program organized a get-together function on 10th April 2023 at Chichiri secondary school hall in Blantyre District. The function was held under the theme: Self-awareness.
Being self-aware is having a good knowledge and understanding of yourself including being aware of your own feelings and character. Practicing self -awareness is about learning to better understand why you feel what you feel and why you behave in a particular way. HIV is a disease that does not discriminate. Anyone can contract this disease, which is why it is important for the youth to be aware of how to protect themselves and prevent the transmission of the virus.
Education and health facilitators were invited to address some of the misconceptions that communities have towards education and HIV/AIDS. The health facilitator advised the youths on the following:
- Get educated: Learn the basic facts about HIV transmission, testing and prevention.
- Get talking: Talk with parents, families, teachers, doctors and other trusted adults about HIV and sexual health.
- Get tested: Know your status
The key to HIV/AIDS awareness therefore hinges on knowledge of HIV/AIDS and what exposures and risky behaviors can potentially lead to contracting the virus. Accordingly, substantial effort has been put in place to provide youth with the basic information on the nature of HIV/AIDS. A number of girls also believed on the myth that HIV/AIDS and all the opportunistic infections arising could be cured through traditional healers. With the new advancement of ARTs, it is impossible to tell that a person is infected with the virus and this is because persons with the virus show symptoms not of AIDS but of the opportunistic infections like tuberculosis that they suffer as the result of the deficiency in their immune system.
With the remarks from Education Facilitator, she said many youths are dying in silence because they are not open-minded, they do not talk about the challenges they encounter in their daily lives. Hence, many of them are the victims of HIV/AIDS today. She further said that future leaders need to know themselves and be mindful their behavior.
Self-awareness has been called arguably the most fundamental issue in psychology, from both a development and an evolutionary perspective. Self-awareness theory states that when we focus our attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values. This elicits a state of objective self-awareness. We become self-conscious as objective evaluators of ourselves. However, self-awareness is not to be confused with self-consciousness. Various emotional states are intensified by self-awareness. However, some people may seek to increase their self-awareness through these outlets. People are more likely to align their behavior with their standards when made self-aware. People will be negatively affected if they don’t live up to their personal standards. Various environmental cues and situations induce awareness of the self, such as mirrors, an audience, or being videotaped or recorded. These cues also increase accuracy of personal memory. In a nutshell, the program was an eye opener for the youth and they will be able to make informed decision while being aware of their standards and values.