International Youth Day 2018: Zero New HIV Infection through Safe Spaces
Safe spaces are the best platforms to provide young people, especially young women and girls with sexual and reproductive health information, generate active discussion on HIV prevention, as well as enable them to make informed choices about their sexual health and relationship.
International Youth Day 2018 under the theme, “Safe Spaces for Youth”, presented an opportunity to further conversation around adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health in Nigeria. In an outreach organized by Education as a Vaccine on 12th August in a form of safe spaces, young people of Durumi Area, Abuja were able to freely discuss with us about sex, love, relationship and other health issues.
Nigerian youth are exposed to a broad range of sexual and reproductive health challenges such as unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. Some young people have little or no access to quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services. With 31% of the Nigerian population being adolescents and young people under the ages of 25, adequate and accurate information and services can guarantee safer and high-quality healthy life.
During the event, Eno-obong Ekwere of Education as a Vaccine pointed out some factors contributing to youth vulnerabilities to HIV to include; early exposure to unsafe sex, low knowledge about sex education, and limited access to sexual and reproductive health information.
During his presentation filled with fun, MC. S Boss said, “weather for two, belle for you”. He summed up his session by encouraging young people alike to use a condom if they must have sex.
Some of the highlights of the event included musical presentations, choreography, comedy, dance, condom demonstration, HIV testing and counselling, sharing of souvenirs and incentives, as well as the distribution of condoms.
Education as a Vaccine believes that enlightened dialogue and shared understanding is an important step towards meeting adolescent sexual and reproductive health needs in Nigeria.