Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Society for Family Health (SFH) has advocated a new approach in the fight against HIV/AIDS, he said this will give the younger generations, who seems to be more affected, more role and opportunity to decide effective ways to propagate messages against the virus.
SFH said its recent findings revealed that field and enlightenment programmes designed by
National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) or partners, as response to HIV in Nigeria, were generic, and in most cases imported from different locations within and outside the country.
SFH Director, Global Fund/HIV Programme, Godspower Omoregie, who spoke at a meeting to set agenda for Adolescent and Young Persons (AYPs), in Abuja, suggested that the new approach should give more opportunity to younger people to make input in any advocacy plans on HIV/AIDS.
He was concerned that doing otherwise could easily erode the successes made thus far, especially in education and enlightenment of people on issues of HIV/AIDS.
He said: “The reason for unimpressive success in the fight against HIV/AIDS could be because we ignored the input of younger people in our previous advocacy plans. It ought not to be so.
“We need not to leave anyone behind in this fight. Regrettably, most interventions seem to have ignored the young persons. And research have proven that young persons are more vulnerable to HIV and they need to be given the required intervention.
“We recently concluded a research work to identify factors that make young person’s more vulnerability to HIV. Based on our findings, we intend to design specific interventions that would address the issues among young persons.
“One of our key findings was that our young persons are not generic as people thought they are. So, we should constantly consider different location, lifestyle, literacy level, food, culture and other factors before designing HIV/AIDS plan for any set of people,” he said, while disclosing that content of the interventions being designed for different locations would neither be imposed nor influenced by any outsider.
According to him, young persons in such locations would be at liberty to dissect the issues considering their peculiarities and make suggestions on what could be done to achieve a significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS in their locations.”
Representatives of NACA, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNFPA and several other stakeholders supported the suggestions of SFH and promised to consider their submissions in next line of actions as regards HIV/AIDS.