Live Better Knowing Young (VMSJ, portuguese initials) is a health strategy that aims increasing the acess from adolescents and young people to HIV testing. It is executed by means of reception, referral and adherence to the treatment for the reactive public, as well as the acess to information about prevention and self care, through extra testing between couples.
The strategy formation aiming young people is a Unicef´s initiative. In São Paulo, it is executed by the City´s Health Concil, and Viração´s partnership.
The project started in 2015, and works through comunication actions and urban interventions in vans around the city. There you can get free oral fluid tests anti-HIV, and prevention resourses. The testes are done by young agents, trained by the city´s program on STD´s and aids. They are also part in Viração´s education programs.
Verônica, 24 years old, is one of the young agents of VMSJ uma das jovens agentes do VMSJ. She sais the project “is a chance to multiply information. It is grabbing what I learned through life and during the project, and transmiting to others.” Another agent, Jonathan, 19, sais “VMSJ is to see myself in the adolescents that look for our service, because they are just like me, they had the same doubts I had, the same fears and the same misery. In that way, I can help them with my experience.”
During the testing events, the young agents go through a lot of experiences, learning and teaching lessons. Moisés, 19 years old, another agent, tells us that “each day is a new experience. We follow the patterns and rules, but we learn new things everytime.”
In 2015, 278 tests were done in São Paulo by 9 young agents, trained for the prevention and testing actions. In the second semester of 2016, in only 1 month of execution, more than 150 tests were made and the project is still going on until next year. Also, Viração promotes many workshops about gender, sexuality, STD´s and other subjects.
Apart from testing and advising for prevention, the young agents produce comunication products like banners, stickers and t-shirts, and a Facebook page, that has 8.125 likes. That way, they increase the incitement for prevention, testing, and treatment, as well as fighting prejudice against STD´s online.
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