Men find it more difficult to go for Voluntary Counseling and Testing compared to women although the numbers of young people who know their status are dangerously low, says Dette Resource foundation programmes manager David Musonda.
He said there was a huge number of young people who were not interested in knowing their HIV status attributed to the fear of being found positive.
Mr Musonda explained that while the situation is better among the young women, the general notion among the young people was that they would die faster if they knew their HIV status.
“There is a lot of self-stigma among young people. They are afraid of knowing their status because they fear the shock of finding out if they are positive and that keeps them from going for VCT,” he said.
Mr Musonda however disclosed that various stakeholders have come together to address the problems of young people declining VTC.
He said Dette was part of a wider network of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) which included the Church that have embarked on door-to-door advocacy campaigns targeting young people on issues of VCT in the communities.
“We are working with other NGOs to try and encourage young people to go for VCT, because if they do not know their status, they run the risk of getting infected,” Mr Musonda said.
He explained that with information about their status, young people would have the opportunity to choose the necessary course of action to take in protecting themselves against HIV or from new infections.
Mr Musonda said organisations have identified individuals who are community based to head the campaign because they could be more familiar with the people in the communities.
On June 30, Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating the International VCT day under the theme ‘Reaching everyone, everywhere with annual HIV Counselling and Testing services.