By Cynthia Alo
A report has revealed that about 41 percent of persons from Lagos, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Oyo and Kano states in Nigeria are now living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV.
This is even as Nigeria is reportedly the country with the second largest number of persons living with the infection totaling 1.9 million according to the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA.
In a statement made available to Vanguard by the Hacey Health Initiative, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund Youth Participatory Platform, UNFPA YPP, it was gathered that over 100,000 youths were empowered in four states in the southwest region through the “Beyond Treatment for Us” (BT4U) Project.
The BT4U project aims to raise awareness, train, and grant young people access to available sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS services.
The statement further explained that globally, HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of mortality among young people and according to UNAIDS, adding that in 2020, 37.7 million people were living with HIV, “and of these people, 36.0 million are adults, while 1.7 million are children between ages 0–14 years.”
The Coordinator at UNFPA/YPP, George Adjete, said: “Apart from reaching over 100,000 people through social media, the project provided Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV/AIDS counselling services to 100 young people. In addition, BT4U trained over 300 adolescents on menstrual hygiene.
“The project also provided 63 young people with free HIV testing services.”Fifty young people trained on evidence-based SRH policy advocacy, 100,591 young people reached with information and support via social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook).”
The project was initiated in July 2021 in response to the new political declaration on AIDS 2021 and the emergence of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.(Vanguard News)