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Hiv/aids prevention: a call for youth action Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Laz Ude Eze, United States Sep 11, 2007
Health   Opinions


Since the discovery of Human Immunodeficiency Virus – HIV in the early 80s, the world has never remained the same. The virus being one of the most potent suppressors of the immune system has so far caused unquantifiable and irreparable damages to humanity. The physical, social, psychological and economic importance of this virus cannot be over-emphasised.
Meanwhile, it is worthy to note that the virus is a ‘friend’ of the youths. As it is silently killing its information-deficient victims, it is also spreading like wild fire amongst us. Having caused enough havoc, I think a time has come for everyone especially my fellow youths to rise up to action and stop this inconspicuous but dangerous organism.

The present situation
According to the Joint United Nations Committee on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), about 40 million people were living with HIV/AIDS world wide at the end of 2005, that was about 3 million more people more than 2002. More than 3 million people (2.4 million in Sub Saharan Africa) died because of AIDS including over a half million children. Sub-Saharan Africa with just about 10% of the world population is a home to about 64% per cent of all the people living with HIV in the world. Incredible! Nigeria is the third country in the world with the highest number of people living with the virus (following India and South Africa).

More so, about half of all new infections are among young people under 25 years. In the University of Ibadan, about 15.7% of respondents (all were students) tested positive for HIV in a study conducted by Adewole & Lawoyin in 2003. A competent source has also revealed that about 40% of students of a polytechnic in Osun State who went for voluntary counselling and testing were found to be HIV positive. Unfortunately, there still exists a general apathy towards voluntary counselling and testing as well as an alarming and inhuman discriminative attitude towards those living with the virus.

In fact, it is sad to note that despite the efforts being made by international donor agencies, government, various NGOs and advocacy groups to raise awareness about this pandemic, the incidence has continued to rise. The challenge is now on us to get more involved and champion the course of HIV prevention. Youth peer education programmes are being introduced in certain institutions for instance in UI where the Centre for HIV/AIDS Intervention, Nigeria (CEHAIN) has trained more than 400 students on HIV prevention.

It may not be wrong to assume that almost every undergraduate in Nigeria is aware of the existence of HIV/AIDS pandemic (though some do not believe it does). That is quite impressive. But ironically, there is dearth and paucity of knowledge and the right orientation about the infection.

Why we must act
A concerted effort of everyone especially young people is required to tackle this pandemic. We must expedite action in HIV prevention because:
* We are the worst hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
* We are the future of the society, the product of its evolution, the preserver of its values and the ones to outlive the consequences of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
A synergy of commitment and youthful action on the promotion of behavioural change, de-stigmatisation of people living with HIV and voluntary counselling and testing is what is needed to reverse the spread and consequently achieve the Millennium Development Goal No 6.
A practical example of the effect of youth action is the achievements of the HAPPY Club (HIV/AIDS Prevention Promotion Youth Club) in the University of Ibadan in less than two years of existence. The club through her various advocacy programs such as peer education, summit, workshops and seminars has succeeded in getting many of the students involved in HIV prevention.
Most importantly, individuals must accept and strictly adhere to the preventive measures as everyone cannot be a member of the anti-AIDS organisations.

I strongly recommend the following to my fellow youths as actions that we should take to contribute to the global efforts towards reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS:
• Know your HIV status, go for voluntary counselling and testing
• Protect yourself from HIV infection and live positively if already infected.
• Update your knowledge on HIV/AIDS and also educate your friends (Acute Information Deficiency Syndrome kills)
• Never stigmatise or discriminate against people living with the virus and boldly speak out against such action.

HIV though not curable, is preventable and treatable. The time to act is now. Unknown status is very dangerous as such person would die silently and ignorantly. The involvement of every youth both as individuals and groups is very important at the moment. Please note that HIV prevention starts with you. Declare war against AIDS. Act now!



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Writer Profile
Laz Ude Eze

I'm a public health physician, health policy analyst, author, columnist, advocate for health equity and youth development consultant.
Tweet me @donlaz4u.

Doris Carter | Sep 14th, 2018
Healing from HIV-AIDS, i never though dr.camala who could ever get my HIV-AIDS cured with his healing spell, i have tried almost everything but i couldn't find any solution on my disease, despite all these happening to me, i always spend alot to buy a HIV drugs from hospital and taking some several medications but no relieve, until one day i was just browsing on the internet when i come across a great post of !Michelle! who truly said that she was been diagnose with HIV and was healed that very week through the help of these great powerful healing spell doctor, sometime i really wonder why people called him Papa camala, i never knew it was all because of the great and perfect work that he has been doing that is causing all this. so i quickly contacted him, and he ask me some few questions and he said a thing i will never forget that anyone who contacted him is ! always getting his or her healing in just 6 hours after doing all he ask you, so i was amazed all the time i heard that from him, so i did all things only to see that at the very day which he said i will be healed, all the strength that has left me before rush back and i becomes very strong and healthy, this disease almost kills my life all because of me, so i will to hospital to give the final test to the disease and the doctor said i am HIV negative, i am very amazed and happy about the healing dr.camala gave to me from the ancient part of Africa, you can email him now for your own healing too at: dr.camalahivadscure@yahoo.com or WhatsApp him +2349055637784 thank you sir for healing me from HIV, i am Doris Carter.

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