Bangladesh is one of
the most densely populated countries having a population
of over 135 million. Given the current population growth,
large numbers of young people moving to urban centers
for employment, increase in the numbers of female sex
workers, high percentage of sex workers with syphilis
(43%) and general ignorance by most people of how to protect
themselves from HIV infection, a major HIV/AIDS prevention
intervention is needed.
The numbers of HIV-positive cases, according to the government,
is less than 300. But, actual numbers are certainly greater.
These numbers are very low for a country the size of Bangladesh.
That is the good news. The bad news is that new cases
of HIV infection are doubling every year. At this rate,
in 15 years, Bangladesh could have over 1 million HIV
infected individuals. This is the reason why increased
attention to HIV/AIDS prevention education is so desperately
Bangladesh Youth First Concerns currently runs five (5)
Drug Awareness Centers in rural areas of Bangladesh where
no other health delivery system is present. Our focus
is on prevention, motivation, vocational training, and
volunteer training surrounding drug and narcotics addition.
However, from years of experience of working with drug
addicted young people in Bangladesh, we know that information
alone is not sufficient to change behavior.
In response to this, BYFC is including Peer Education
as a critical component of our proposed interventions.
Peer Education is an innovative approach not only in its
communication of STD/HIV/AIDS prevention practices, use
of contraception, and avoiding unwanted pregnancies etc.,
but also its ability to influence and shape behavioral
structures through interactive communication. To our knowledge,
this has not been tried in Bangladesh with HIV/AIDS prevention
education. Given the very conservative culture within
Bangladesh, we feel Peer Education is a critical component
to have any real impact on changing behavior. This approach
makes use of the fact that well-trained, select peers
will use the same language, possess similar experiences
and have more credibility and authenticity than conventional
By applying the principles and praxis of our Peer Education
with drug and narcotics prevention to HIV/AIDS prevention
education, we expect to maximize the likelihood that behaviors
will change and that the HIV/AIDS growth rate in Bangladesh
would be able to be reduced.
To explore our vision and learn more about the project
details, click on the menu items on the left side of this
webpage. Please contact us if you have any questions or
desire to speak about this further!