The UNICEF field office in Kaduna has announced that there is still a lot of work to be done in order to reduce the spread of the HIV among teenagers and young adults in Kaduna. UNICEF has thus budgeted the sum of N200m to tackle the spread of the virus in seven local governments in Kaduna State.
Dr. Idris Baba, the officer-in-charge of the Kaduna field office of UNICEF made this declaration in Zaria during a forum with personnel from the media. He disclosed that only seven percent of the teenagers under survey at the beginning of the project are now aware of their status.
The UNICEF official explained that the N200m budget was to be used in the running of the Adolescent and Young Persons (AYP) program in seven local governments areas in Kaduna; Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Igabi, Jaba, Jema’a, Kagarko, and Lere.
The objective of the AYP program is to raise the access of teenagers and young adults to HIV testing and to increase the usage of condoms among adolescents from 30% to 50% in these local government areas. “HIV in adolescents remains a big concern; these seven local government have a higher prevalence of HIV among adolescents in Kaduna state,” he said.
The program would also promote the use of antiretroviral therapy from 1% to 21% among the people already living with HIV and to also increase peer education by increasing the number of schools that provide Family Life Health Education.
Dr. Baba said that the program has helped to achieve more awareness on HIV because of the improved access to information among young adults in these areas and more people had gotten tested to know their HIV status.
The UNICEF official concluded by informing the forum that more that one thousand individuals have been properly trained to ensure that the program runs as successfully as possible