Zimbabwean youths have been challenged to abstain from premarital sex if they are to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases such as the deadly HIV and Aids.The call was made at the Seventh Day Adventist church Youth conference held in Harare under the theme â€˜Virginity is a virtueâ€™.
The conference was meant to raise awareness on the importance of protecting oneâ€™s virginity considering that in many circles it is no longer an issue.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, National Aids Council Harare Province Representative, Mr. Adonija Muzondiona said research has revealed that over 97% of HIV and Aids cases both direct and indirect in Zimbabwe are transmitted through sexual intercourse, hence the call for youths to abstain till marriage.
Seventh Day Adventist church Youth and HIV and Aids Pastors, Tapiwa Zinyemba and Innocent Gwizo said the church has the mandate to teach youths the values of purity.
They said such teachings are long term response strategies in the fight against HIV and Aids and in creating an HIV-free generation.
Poems, drama, speeches all pointed to the need for the youth to choose to abstain from premarital sex, extramarital sex, homosexuality, prostitution, pornography, alcoholism and drugs which have become todayâ€™s norm in most societies.
The youth conference brought together more than 17 000 young people from Harare province.
Present were Minister of health and Child Welfare, Dr Henry Madzorera, Pastor Zinyemba, and senior officials from the National Aids Council.