By Indrawattie NatramScores of youths from various communities within Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are currently benefitting from a two-day HIV\AIDS workshop, compliments of the National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS).The sessions, which began on Thursday and end today, are being facilitated by Nazim Hussain. Playing a major part in the workshop are youths from theYouths who participated in the workshopEssequibo Coast Dharmic Najauwan.During various sessions, Hussain enlightened the youths about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and ways they can safeguard themselves. He said the workshop was aimed at educating persons about HIV/AIDS and human rights, as well as to remind community leaders about their roles in helping to mould the youngerThe youths participated in group discussions during the workshopgeneration.During his discourse, he informed youths about the works of NAPS and the Ministry of Public Health. According to UN AIDS data, Hussain said, more than 1.6 per cent of Guyana’s population is to date infected with the virus. HIV/AIDS is mostly prevalent among persons aged between 14 and 24 years.He also noted that the Government, through the Ministry of Public Health, is providing free antiretroviral (ARV) medication to persons suffering from the Human Immuno- deficiency Virus (HIV).Hussain explained that HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, and ‘Human’ means that it affects only humans and lives within their system. The virus, he said, does notNazim Hussain speaking to the youthslive in mosquitoes, cups or spoons, or bed sheets that people who have HIV may have used. ‘Immuno-deficiency’ refers to a lack, or breakdown, of the immune system.Speaking on AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), Hussain said to “acquire” means to get or develop over a period of time. Youths were also reminded of ways that the disease can be transmitted; such as by unprotected sex, blood transfusion, mother-to-child, and by using unclean needles.The virus can be found in four main body fluids: breast milk, semen, vaginal secretions, and blood.Youths were involved in various group discussions, and expressed their ideas and thoughts about the dreaded virus. Chairman of the Dharmic Naujawan in Region Two, Nandram Prabhu, thanked Nazim Hussain for choosing Region Two for the workshop, and also thanked him on behalf of the youths. Prabhu said youths are now more empowered and equipped with the necessary knowledge about the disease.Youths also expressed their gratitude to Hussain for imparting his knowledge to them about HIV/AIDS.