Ismael Matambura SJ, AJAN Director
The World AIDS Day is an important day that helps all
of us to reflect on the devastation this disease has caused the humanity since
its emergence. According to the UNAIDS, over 75.7 million people have been
infected with the virus since 1981, with over 32 million losing their lives to
AIDS related illnesses. It is a day to remember those infected and affected by
the disease world over, and to reflect on the efforts we are all making, and
what more we can do to stop the disease. It remains a major killer, despite numerous
gains made thus so far.
The African Jesuit AIDS Network-AJAN secretariat
(AJAN) coordinates the efforts of Jesuit centers in Africa which are involved
in the continual fight against HIV and AIDS. It also does publications,
resource mobilization, and advocacy and develops program as well.
AJAN believes that HIV spread has to do with
behavior. One cannot combat HIV without working on behavior change and
targeting the youth, who remain vulnerable. In this regard, AJAN’s main program
today is the AJAN HIV and AIDS Prevention
Program for Youth(AHAPPY generation).
In it, we reach out to young people of ages 10-24. This program is
printed in AHAPPY manual, fruit of a
collaborative work and process that started back in 2011 gathering Jesuits, young
Africans, and collaborators. It promotes and educates on values inspired by
Ignatian spirituality, Christian and traditional values. All this to foster the
development of a young person into a complete human being useful to self and