Online Program

Thinking globally and acting locally to prevent new HIV infections among youth; the case of Nigeria

Monday, November 4, 2013

Juliet Iwelunmor, PhD, UNESCO, Paris, France
Collins O. Airhihenbuwa, PhD, MPH, Department of Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Alfred Adegoke, PhD, Department of Counsellor Education, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
In Nigeria, recent data suggests that there are about 2.8 million youth and adults aged 15 and up living with HIV. Unprotected heterosexual intercourse remains central to HIV transmission in Nigeria accounting for over 80% of all HIV infections. As a result, innovative strategies rooted in increasing youth involvement, in preventing new HIV infections are urgently needed. In this paper, we present the findings of a preliminary assessment led by the UNESCO program on Culture, HIV and AIDS, on ways to strengthen youth and youth-led non-governmental organization's (NGO's) engagement with HIV prevention activities in Nigeria. Data were collected from 60 youths and 30 youth-led NGO's located in the 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria. The findings showed that empowerment and building youth capacity should balance responsibility for males with expectations for young women so as to attain success in new efforts aimed at achieving a zero new HIV infections goal for Nigerian youth. The results also highlight the importance for culturally tailored dialogue targeted differently for school curricula and family and community. Also critical was the role of the media particularly the Nigerian Nollywood film industry in maintaining awareness aimed at reducing HIV incidence among Nigerian youth. In light of the new UN priority to achieve zero new HIV infections, we will present an intervention, in partnership with the Nigerian Nollywood industry, designed to make urgent the need for a youth led HIV prevention message in Nigerian.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe HIV prevalence in Nigeria, particularly among young people. Identify factors influencing HIV transmission among youth in Nigeria. Discuss how to strengthen youth and youth-led non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) engagement with HIV and AIDS prevention activities in Nigeria.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in organizing data collection and analysis of this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.