Vacances Sans Sida (VSS)


AIDS-Free Holyday (VSS) is an innovative and ambitious concept, initiated in 2003 by Madame Chantal BIYA, First Lady of Cameroon, Special Ambassador of UNAIDS and Founding President of African Synergy. It is the largest national campaign of awareness and prevention against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS, targeting specifically adolescents and young people. Its goal is to reduce the number of new infections by STIs and HIV among this vulnerable population, by encouraging the adoption of healthy and responsible behaviors, by facilitating access to prevention and care services, and by fighting against the social and economic factors that favor the spread of these infections. This campaign is the result of a close collaboration between the Ministry of Public Health, through the National AIDS Control Committee (NACC), and African Synergy, a pan-African organization committed to the fight against AIDS and major epidemics. It takes place every year during the school and university holidays, in order to reach the maximum number of young people. 

VSS has already allowed to train more than 10,000 young people in peer education, to sensitize more than 10,000,000 young people on STIs, HIV/AIDS and other risk factors, to screen more than 500,000 young people and to make them aware of their serological status. It benefits from the support of thirty technical and financial partners, ministerial sectors, civil society organizations, public and private enterprises, who accompany the implementation of this national-scale campaign. AIDS-Free Holyday is a concept that deserves to be praised and supported by all the actors involved in the fight against AIDS. It contributes to protect the health and the future of young people, who are the engine of Cameroon’s development. It also testifies to the vision and leadership of Madame Chantal BIYA, who has mobilized the resources and partners necessary to face this scourge. VSS is a concept that makes Cameroon proud and inspires other African countries.