Are they getting the information they need about HIV? Are girls being empowered to take charge of their sexuality? Are infants safe from disease, and are children orphaned by AIDS raised in loving supportive environment? We
cannot let another generation be devastated by AIDS.”— Carol Bellamy, Former Executive Director, UNICEF.
As the World AIDS Day is observed today and people get exposed to different forms of awareness concerning the deadly disease; how it can be transmitted, how it can be prevented, or managed in those who are already infected, there are still concerns about sexual behaviours among young people, and the need to stop all forms of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.
Facts from UNICEF/NYSC Reproductive Health and HIV Prevention Project Manual reveal that ‘HIV infection among the sexually active population grew from 1.8 per cent in 1991 to 5.8 per cent in 2002., while the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) says the latest prevalence is now 4.1.
The fear is that without correct knowledge of reproductive health among adolescents and young people between 15-29 years, the group will remain at the highest risk of HIV infection.
In this vein, it is advised that HIV/AIDS campaign programme organisers should ensure that the youths are engaged in interactive sessions for awareness and educational events.
children are those who have either been orphaned or lost a parent to AIDS. In most cases they are children who need care because they are neglected and uncared for by the society.
Needs: Helping them maintain bodily hygiene; provide balanced diet and keep their clothes and bedding clean
Support: They should have a home to live in like other people, advocacy for free drugs for them to treat opportunistic infections