The World Health Organization reports that young people account for 40% of all new infections with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), that globally an estimated 4.6 million youth are living with HIV, and that 69% of all people living with HIV are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Educating youth and raising awareness is an effective way to combat the spread of this disease.
In 2008, an oilfield services company launched HSE for Youth, an initiative that reaches out to young people to inform and empower them to make responsible decisions about health, safety, and environmental (HSE) topics. A key health-related topic of the initiative is raising HIV/AIDS awareness.
HSE for Youth has implemented educational workshops on HIV/AIDS in Africa. The workshops are led by trained volunteers using age-specific materials. Awareness on this health issue is raised through interaction at the workshops and the young people in attendance are encouraged to share what they learn with their peers and families. Several thousand youth have participated in the workshops throughout the region since the program's inception.