The Phenomenal Youth Association (PYA) has urged Zambians to protect themselves against contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS amid the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Speaking during an interview with Lusaka Star, PYA National Chairperson Graham Mbewe, said the emergence of the Coronavirus has overshadowed rigorous sensitization of various diseases, which might be a contributing factor to higher HIV infection rates among youths in the country.

Mr. Mbewe said that information about sexual reproductive health rights has reduced, thereby making youths more vulnerable to contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

Covid-19 has impacted a lot of lives, especially on HIV/AIDS because information on sensitization of preventive measures is not sufficient and a lot of activities are not taking place,

he said.

Mr. Mbewe added that the current economic situation in the country might be a contributing factor to the number of infections being recorded because some youths are forced to engage themselves in immoral sexual activities just to make some money.

As an organization, we have embarked on a treatment supporting program targeting youths and adolescents who are affected by these happenings. We are making use of various online media platforms to get in touch with our youths and counsel them,

he said.

Meanwhile, Patrick Lungu, a part-time Psycho-Social Counsellor at Ng’ombe Clinic, has observed that there has been a significant drop in the number of people testing for HIV/AIDS since the outbreak of Covid-19.

Mr. Lungu stated that this might be because people are no longer going to the clinic as often, for fear of contracting the Coronavirus due to the presence of large crowds.

Before Covid-19, I would attend to more than 60 people a day but now, the maximum number of people I attend to are less than 30 per day,

he said.

Mr. Lungu has advised the public to continue being cautious when dealing with health matters.

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