Why would a top executive from Johnson & Johnson AB Estonia find himself in front of a class of teenage schoolkids in a rural town in eastern Estonia? The answer: HIV education.
From April 4th-8th, 26 volunteers from the corporate world as well as the Teach for Estonia program and other NGO activists taught classes on HIV education in schools across the country, but with an emphasis on Tallinn, the southern provinces and eastern Estonia. Participating corporations included Coca-Cola Estonia, Rimi Estonian Food, Radisson BLU Hotel Tallinn, TBWA/Guvatrak and other institutions from the private and non-profit sectors, including NENO.
"Estonia is among the leading countries in Europe for HIV prevalence. The virus is a major burden on our social system and has a negative impact on the economic environment," said Keit Fomotshkin, director of the Healthy Estonia Foundation. "Since sexual activity among Estonians starts at an early age, it is very important that HIV prevention begins at the school desks."
As reported by news.err, a 2010 survey conducted by the National Institute of Health Development showed that around 10 percent of 14-year-olds in Estonia has had sexual intercourse, while the figure among 16-year-olds is around 50 percent. The study also revealed that 38 percent of 14 to 18-year-olds did not use a condom while having sex.