Young students are being encouraged to respect their bodies and practice abstinence in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The plea has come from Deputy Director of the HIV/AIDS Commission, Lynn Armstrong, who was speaking during the inaugural Northern Schools Primary Schools HIV/AIDS Quiz at the Christ is the Answer Family Church at Battaleys, St. Peter.

The competition was coordinated by the Community Development Department in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and was the brainchild of the St. Peter HIV/AIDS Education Committee.

Citing the themes of the competition, “Abstain, Its Your Life to Gain” and the HIV/AIDS Commission’s Abstinence programme, “I choose to wait, I am worth it”, Ms. Armstrong told the students to practise restraint, particularly as they approached their teenage years, with changing hormones.

Noting that she was stirred by the level of knowledge exhibited by the students, the Deputy Director praised the work of the teachers and the Community Development Department.

“I am 100 percent impressed by your knowledge today. You (the children) know more about HIV/AIDS than some adults. This is reflective of the work of your teachers…Your role (the Community Development Department) in the fight against HIV/AIDS cannot also be underestimated. Getting into the communities and educating and sensitising Barbadians is a critical aspect in seeking to curb the spread of the disease,” she opined.

The Northern Primary Schools HIV/AIDS Quiz saw St. Andrew’s, Good Shepherd, Roland Edwards and Chalk Mount Primary Schools competing, with the latter taking away the top prize with 17 points.

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