The United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) has reveal real reasons why HIV prevalence rate among adolescents and young people (AYP) in Nigeria is on the increase
UNICEF Field Officer, Kaduna, Dr Idris Baba revealed that, 50 percent of the 3.1 million Nigerians living with HIV fall within this group – 14-25 years of age stressing that recent reports, shows HIV prevalence is declining among adults, but on the increase among adolescents due to various determinants including unprotected sex.
The official disclosed that UNICEF had budgeted about N200 million to run the adolescent and young persons (AYP) programme in selected LGAs to tackle high HIV prevalence among adolescents in the seven local government areas of Kaduna State which include Igabi, Lere, Jema’a, Chikun, Kagarko, Birni Gwari and Jaba.
Available information shows that, high percentage of these young persons are not even aware of their status which is a serious concern to stakeholders including UNICEF.
UNICEF and media practitioners in Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria on Wednesday renewed their partnership with a view to reaching these group of persons, sensitize and encourage them to go for HIV test in order to know their status especially in the year 2018.
The organization is targeting online, print, electronic and social media to reach out to these group of persons, parents, guardians, government and other development partners to address the worrisome trend.
Dr. Idris Baba, during the meeting in Zaria on Wednesday said, HIV in adolescents in Nigeria remains a big concern as findings from focused seven local government areas of Kaduna state revealed.
According to him, only seven percent of the adolescents surveyed at the beginning of the intervention programme in March were tested and received their HIV result, hoping that, 90 percent is expected to be tested and placed on antiretroviral drugs by the year 2030.
The Deputy Director, NOA Kaduna, Mallam Lawal Haruna, had earlier said the purpose of the meeting is to update the knowledge of the media executives, Reporters and Producers on AYP/ HIV and AIDS situation in Kaduna State.