Nigeria launches HIV prevention campaign for adolescents

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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Nigeria has launched the National Adolescents and Young People HIV Prevention Campaign.

The goal of the campaign is to contribute to the reduction of new HIV infections among adolescents and young people (AYP) by increasing their access to gender responsive, HIV prevention information and services.

The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of Aids, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said that the campaign is to increase access to HIV information and services amongst young people in the country.

The goal of the campaign would be to contribute to the reduction of new HIV infections among adolescents and young people (AYP) by increasing their access to gender responsive, HIV prevention information and services,” he said.

The Director General urged Nigerian youths to embrace the opportunities provided by the campaign to educate their peers and stay safe for the good of the future.

Speaking at the event, the representative of the Country Director of UNAIDS, Tseday Ahemsed, said that young people are the world future and most be cautious of the actions in order not to jeopardise their future.

“The intervention is aligned with UNAIDS “Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free” super-fast framework for ending AIDS among children, adolescents and young women by 2020,” she said.

Similarly, the UNICEF Chief of Health, HIV Section, Dr. Dorothy Ochola-Odongo, said that the campaign was timely and should be encouraged.

She noted that UNICEF would continue to sustain advocacy to keep young people alive.

“For Nigeria to have a great future, the youth population must stay healthy,” she said.

Guaranteed Future

Other development partners at the launch agreed that preventing young people from contacting HIV would guarantee their future.

Young people at the launch gave their commitment to making the campaign a success.

Issues to be addressed by the campaign include inadequate knowledge on HIV transmission and prevention, low risk perception, early sexual debut and multiple sexual partnerships.

Others are transactional sex (male and female), low condom use, low uptake of HTS, sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) messaging targeting boys and early marriage (for Northern states).

The implementation of the campaign has officially kick-started in four states; Benue, FCT, Kaduna and Lagos.

Campaign materials were also unveiled at the event.

 

Nnenna.O