Youth in Nigeria at Increased Risk of HIV Because of Inadequate Information, Counseling, UNPF Adviser Says
Youth in Nigeria are at an increased risk of HIV/AIDS because of a lack of information and counseling services, Aderonke Sodeinde, an HIV prevention adviser at the United Nations Population Fund, said recently at a UNPF workshop aimed at educating journalists on the importance of providing HIV education and awareness to young people, the Daily Trust reports.
Sodeinde said HIV is increasing among young people because they have not received education on how to prevent transmission of the virus. Youth are hindered further because they often are not considered in decisions regarding HIV programs, she said, adding that they should be involved in policymaking to successfully curb the spread of the virus. Sodeinde called on workshop participants to increase efforts to involve young people in planning HIV campaigns, saying, "[a]dults need to partner with young people, and there should be information overload to assist them [to] make the right decision."
It is estimated that about 3.6 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria and that more than 60% of new HIV cases occur among young people, Sodeinde said. According to UNPF, about 6,000 young people worldwide contract HIV daily, and the majority of new cases are in Sub-Saharan Africa (Rabiu, Daily Trust, 1/5).