The Association of Positive Youths Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (APYIN) have expressed concerns over the growing rates of HIV/AIDS among youths despite efforts to sensitize people of all ages.
This was stated the Monitoring and Evaluation (M and E) Officer of the association, Mr Edward Ogiji at a media roundtable discussion today in Makurdi.
He said most youths do not protect themselves when having sex, ignoring all cautions and 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 sensitization 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.
Mr Fabian Tor, the programme officer, APYIN said a lot of youths affected with HIV/AIDS die faster than the adults due to financial involvement of first timers to treat it.
He stated that most of the youths affected by the disease lack the finance to carry out various tests needed before treatment which is free commences.
The official said the association’s vision is to eradicate the disease before 2030.
The Chairperson, Association of Women Living With HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (ASWHAN), Mrs Elizabeth Aluna, appealed to the media to assist in sensitizing people on HIV/AIDS so that they would be conscious of it and avoid acts that could make them contact the disease