UNFPA begins HIV campaign at Calabar Carnival

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has commenced its one month’s HIV/AIDS campaign at the ongoing Calabar Carnival.

Dr Araoyimbo Idowu, the Youth Programme Officer of UNFPA, said the campaign tagged “Wise up Cross River’’ is aimed at checking the spread of HIV/AIDS in the state.

She said the campaign in collaboration with other stakeholders mainly targets youth.

“We have our stand here, called “condom zone’’ where we carry out HIV test and counseling. We also distribute free condoms as well as sensitise the people on the dangers of HIV/AIDS,”  he said.

Young campaign volunteers were seen dancing and entertaining people at the spot, while condoms were freely distributed to those that visited the stand.

FACT SHEET of burden of HIV borne by youths from the “Advocates for Youth” 

 Globally, 4 million young people ages 15-24 are reportedly living with HIV and 29% are adolescents ages 15-19

Despite important gains in preventing new HIV infections, sub-Saharan Africa remains the hardest hit region where 80 percent of all young women and girls ages 15-24 living with HIV reside.

Young people around the world must be provided with the information and tools they need to protect themselves from HIV and to live positively for those who have already acquired HIV – including comprehensive sexuality education, HIV counseling, testing and treatment, and youth-friendly, affordable health care.

Despite declines in new HIV infections in many countries, millions of young people are living with HIV around the world

  • Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 71 percent of the global total of people living with HIV. Within the region, ten countries are home to 81 percent of people living with HIV, half of which are in Nigeria and South Africa. In the region, there are 2.9 million young people ages 15-24 living with HIV. New HIV infections among young people ages 15-24 have declined by 42 percent since 2001 and by 17 percent since 2010. In spite of this, 1 of every 6 deaths among adolescents in Africa is due to HIV.
  • Second to sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific is the region with the second largest number of people living with HIV, with India accounting for 43 percent. Less than .1 percent of young women and young men ages 15-24 are living with HIV, respectively. Despite varying declines in new HIV infections among most countries in the region between 2005 and 2013, new HIV infections increased in Indonesia by 48 percent.

Rafat S.