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Many Young People in Cameroon Do Not Retrieve HIV Test Results, Researchers Say

January 16, 2008

The high percentage of young people in Cameroon who do not retrieve their HIV test results is contributing to the spread of the virus in the country, researchers from the Institute for Research, Socioeconomic Development and Communication said recently, Cameroon's The Post reports. According to a study conducted by IRESCO researchers, about 7% of 100 young people ages 15 to 24 who received voluntary HIV tests retrieved the results. The researchers said that many young people who received the test but did not retrieve the results feared stigma, adding that others believed knowing their HIV-positive status eventually would lead to death, according to The Post. Very few young people in Cameroon receive voluntary HIV tests, according to the researchers.

To address the issue, IRESCO has launched a campaign to encourage young people in the country to receive HIV tests, IRESCO coordinator Jean-Paul Tchupo said. He added that the group hopes that increased HIV testing among Cameroonian youth will encourage the government to develop measures aimed at combating HIV/AIDS. As part of the campaign, IRESCO has developed a film that will be aired on television stations nationwide, and an audio version will be played on radio stations in partnership with the group. In addition, IRESCO plans to translate the film into various languages, including English and some local Cameroonian languages, according to The Post (Njechu, The Post, 1/14).

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