By Chioma Obinna
As the world basks in the euphoria of the latest HIV vaccine,Â the Center for the Right to Health (CRH)Â Â kicked- off an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in Shomolu Local Government area of Lagos aimed at creating, strengthening and supporting the adoption of healthy reproductive lifestyle and HIV prevention behaviour among the poor and Most At-Risk Populations (MARPs).
In partnership withÂ Society for Family Health (SFH) and funded by the Department for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the programme tagged; â€œComprehensive Integrated Approach to HIV Prevention and Care in Nigeria (CIHPAC) Programmeâ€ is also aimed at promoting greater awareness ofÂ risk associated with un-protected sex, increased knowledge about HIV,Â STIs and positive attitude towards risk reduction behaviours has it target groups at the community levels.
Programme Officer, CRH, Mrs. Christy Ekeratte-Udoh said CIHPAC is a four and half year programme, is to increaseÂ behaviours conducive to the prevention of HIV/STI transmission among MARPs, create an enabling environment for behaviour change and programme sustainability in collaboration with other partners, reduce stigma and discrimination against People Living with HIV/AIDS as well as increase access to HCT services.
â€œTo really promote change of behaviour in thee live of the school youths, we are looking at male out of school from 18 to 30 years because they are sexually active so we are encouraging them to use condoms if they must have sex.â€
The CRH Programme Officer,Â gave kudos to HIV awareness campaigns in the country noting that theÂ message of hope has spread across the country. â€œWe have taught them about the various creams for the penis, various creams for the vagina. Everyone of them came out to demonstrate how to wear it and those that didnâ€™t wear it well were taught because they are learning.
We expect at the end of the day, we must have passed on greater awareness, the community people are aware of different ways of preventing HIV, STI, and the community has assumedÂ ownership of the project and are able to talk about HIV and its relative infections.