HIV/AIDS prevalence still high among youths – Official

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By Nicholas Dechi

Makurdi, May 28, 2018 (NAN) The Association of Positive Youths Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (APYIN) has decried the high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS among youths despite public awareness created for ages.
Mr Edward Ogiji, the Monitoring and Evaluation (M and E) Officer of the association, said this at a media roundtable on Monday in Makurdi.
He pointed out that most youths do not protect themselves when having sex because they are ignorant of the consequences.
“About 82 per cent of adolescents contact HIV/AIDs through unprotected sex and most of them are between the ages of 13 and 15.
“At this age they know nothing about the dangers of having unprotected sex, hence, the prevalence of the disease among youths.
“I urge relevant government and non-governmental agencies to intensify efforts on sensitisation by taking the HIV/AIDs campaign to the hinterlands and schools to forestall further spread of the disease,’’ he said.
He called for total implementation of the Partnership to Inspire, Transform and Connect the HIV Response (PITCH) project because it would help in reducing the spread of the disease.
The Programme Officer, APYIN, Mr Fabian Tor, disclosed that more youths that were affected with HIV/AIDS were dying faster than the adults because of their unwillingness to treat it due to the financial involvement for first timers.
Tor said that most of the youths that were affected by the disease lack the funds to carry out various tests before the commencement of the treatment which was free.
The official said that it was the desire of associations that were working for the eradication of the disease to be eradicated on or before 2030.
The Chairperson, Association of Women Living With HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (ASWHAN), Mrs Elizabeth Aluna, appealed to the media to assist in sensitising people on HIV/AIDS so that they would be conscious of it and avoid acts that could make them contact the disease. (NAN)