Youth forum advocates safer sex as part of healthy future
Aboriginal people under 25 are the fast-growing demographic in BC and a conference this week in Nanaimo aims to prepare them for the future.
Cowichan Tribes' members are among the 1,000 youth from around the province attending the "Gathering Our Voices" annual conference, where they have access to some 50 workshops and 50 career booths.
One presenter is Angela Potskin, a coordinator of HIV support groups and education at the Friendship Centre in Duncan. Potskin said for a bright future, young people need to be better informed about the possible risks of sexual activity.
“There is not enough education about safer sex, using contraceptives,” she said.
Potskin quotes some startling statistics related to sexually transmitted diseases - one aboriginal person in BC is diagnosed with HIV every week and of all new HIV cases in the province, 33 per cent of those are aboriginal women.
This week in Nanaimo, Potskin will attempt to narrow the education gap with her own workshop on HIV/AIDS.
“Practice safer sex and that is using a condom and just taking responsibility of your actions and being in control of your health,” she urged. “Get tested.”
Leaders and staff from Cowichan’s Hiiye’yu Lelum House of Friendship are at the 10th annual forum, this year running under the theme “A Generation on the Move”.