HIV Foundation says 380,000 HIV infections occur annually among young women

According to the NGO, statistically, the prevalence of new HIV infection globally is higher with young women and girls.

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In 2015 more than 7,500 teenagers and young women became infected with HIV every week worldwide, with the bulk of them in southern Africa play

In 2015 more than 7,500 teenagers and young women became infected with HIV every week worldwide, with the bulk of them in southern Africa

(AFP/File)
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The Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF), an NGO, on Friday said that 380,000 new HIV infection occur annually among young women and girls globally.

The organisation said that the cases are recorded among women between the ages of 15 to 24 years.

Ms Kemi Gbadamosi, Senior Manager, Public Relation and Communications of the foundation, disclosed this at the flag off Girls Act Campaign against new HIV infection in Abuja.

According to her, statistically, the prevalence of new HIV infection globally is higher with young women and girls as a result of transactional sex and poverty.

Others include lack of information and education, traditional practices such as female genital mutilation, sexual violence and rape, adding that such reasons exposes young girls to the risk of HIV.

"Statistics from UN reveal that about 380,000 new infections occur annually among young women and girls of 15 to 24 years in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Also about 1 in 3 women and girls have suffered some form of sexual or gender based violence which is an alarming statistics by any standard,"  she said.

Gbadamosi explained that the mobile campaign targets young women and girls with HIV and sexually transmitted infection, while providing testing, personal hygiene, menstrual hygiene and psycho-social services.

She said the goal of AHF is to reverse the trend of high new HIV infections among girls of 15 to 24 years by empowering them with information.

Gbadamosi added that such information will enable them make informed choices and decisions with respect to their health and overall well-being.

"The campaign has two objectives which include keeping young women and girls who are negative to remain negative and those who are positive live a life of dignity.

"The campaign is also to create a friendly environment for young women and girls and to bring the services closer to them because they don’t go to health facilities.

"We want them to feel comfortable asking questions about their reproductive health and wellness without being judgmental or any form of prejudice.

"If we replicate this in all states there are chances that we will be able to break the circle of new HIV infections among young girls as it continues to grow," Gbadamosi said.

She urged the Federal Government to make available youth friendly centres in every state, driven and led by young doctors and nurses who could relate freely with the younger population.

Gbadamosi added that more funding and safe programmes should be provided to make youths more comfortable and safe about their reproductive health.

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