HIV Prevalence: Kaduna Second Highest In Nigeria …….Jabba, Jama’a LGAs Top List Of Infected Among AYPs – SFH
HIV Prevalence: Kaduna Second Highest In Nigeria
…….Jabba, Jama’a LGAs Top List Of Infected Among AYPs – SFH
By Alex Uangbaoje
Jabba and Jama’a Local government areas has been confirmed as the highest Adolescents and Young People (AYP) living with HIV/AIDs in Kaduna State according to Society for Family Health (SFH) AYP project.
Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai had on Tuesday 16th June 2015 lamented that, the state has the second highest HIV prevalence in the country, and only 36 per cent of mothers have the benefit of being attended by skilled birth attendants.
Barnabas Anthony, Programme Manager of AYP project in Kaduna made this revelation during the state launch of a strategic plan dissemination agenda of AYP in Kaduna organised by Society for Family Health supported by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
According to him, about 11% and 8.7% of people in the two LGAs are living with HIV/AIDS base on ANC survey carried out by Federal Ministry of Health in 2010.
He said the AYPs constitutes 33% of Nigerian population that is about 10 to 24 years of age and they are mainly found in schools and all spheres of endeavours of lives (marriage, engaged labour etc).
Barnabas regretted the low level of access to and uptake of HIV counselling and testing (HCT) by adolescents, saying it is “lower than that of adults. National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey (NARHS) 2012 report of Kaduna showed that ever tested age 15-19 years remianed as low as 33.3%.”
The AYP pilot project which was targeted at the two local government areas and bid to last for 18 months, will be a model to be used in scaling up the remaining 21 LGAs in the state.
“One of the strategies we implore is to catch them young with HIV messages which to us is a way of creating awareness and improving HIV knowledge among the AYPS, we believe that if they have the knowledge definitely they will know how to conduct themselves.”
“The second side of it is to ensure that the AYPs themselves know their HIV status because when you know your HIV status you can take an informed decision about your life so as to access treatment.”
“The AYP project tries to correct misconceptions about the way some peoples think, and encourages them to go for testing. we also do communities mobilisation exercises where we go to communities, they come out, we address them, they ask questions we answer, by so doing we are impacting knowledge on them.”
He said they organise some special events like during festive periods. so we takes advantage of such programmes to take HIV messages to them. He however commended all development partners and government at all levels in the state for their support and making the project a success.