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International News

Albemarle Volunteer Fights HIV in Mozambique

April 20, 2006

In Mozambique recently, Albemarle, N.C., native Robert Moorehead, 23, joined other Peace Corps members to produce a conference teaching school boys about HIV/AIDS and how they can pass that information on to peers.

At first, Moorehead was not sure the conference would actually happen. Several participants expected that a conference by a foreign aid agency would pay attendants, many whom are impoverished and have to travel by bus, bicycle, airplane or foot. That is a hard trek across a country the length of Maine to Miami, said David Dellama, Mozambique's Peace Corps director.

The conference, held in the coastal city of Inhambane, was financed with $15,000 from government and non-profit groups.

On April 17, 40 boys were scheduled to discuss masculinity, which Moorehead said is often measured by sexual prowess. On Tuesday, they were scheduled to hear from an HIV-positive woman, and on Wednesday from a traditional healer. That is the conference highlight, said Albemarle's Sally Pleasant, Moorehead's mother. "My son was really excited," she said. "The head of the traditional healers in Mozambique will say it's a lie that they can treat AIDS."

By the end of the conference, the boys will choose one of four ways to pass their learning on to others back home: through a mural, a play, community garden or documentary.

There are about 85 Peace Corps volunteers in Mozambique, 65 teachers and 20 health advocates.

Back to other news for April 20, 2006

Adapted from:
Charlotte Observer
04.17.2006; DaNica Coto

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Prevention in Mozambique