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Hard talk on AIDS

Luke Rawalai
Friday, January 31, 2014

PARENTS need to do the hard talking to their children about HIV/AIDS and stop using the excuse of taboo to remain silent on the issue.

These were the words of President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau as he spoke to students of Labasa Sangam College during his HIV/AIDS awareness at the school yesterday.

Ratu Epeli said HIV education begins at home.

"It begins in your homes from your parents — the very homes where all good things begin for a family," he said.

"Your parents are responsible for teaching you the facts of life, and HIV/AIDS today is very much a factor in our lives, whether we like it or not as it has been around for over 30 years now and has no cure for it in sight.

"It is the worst disease that mankind has faced, with some parents and, I suspect, most parents believing that it is the job of someone else to educate their children on HIV/AIDS."

Ratu Epeli said parents should wake up from their long slumber and face their responsibilities.

"They need to do the hard talking not to but with their children and stop giving the excuse that such issues are taboo.

"They must talk about HIV/AIDS with their children and family including members of their communities.

"HIV/AIDS can only go away by our combined response against this deadly epidemic for which there is no cure."

Ratu Epeli said parents must be responsible and play their part which was crucial in our general response against HIV/AIDS.

"I myself have adult single children and I have been telling them frankly since they were at school many years ago exactly what I have been telling you openly with all cards on the table

"I do this because I love them and I love you no less. I want them to live full and long lives and I want the same for you as well and I say this as a concerned parent because no parent will ever accept the sad fact that with HIV/AIDS there is a sad possibility that their children or worse still their grandchildren could go before they do.

"Their children or their grandchildren may fall between the age group 20-29 or 30-39 age group, an age group which is referred to in the UN parlance as the youth group."

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