By Gabriel Olawale
New HIV Vaccine and Advocacy Society, NHVMAS, has urged the Federal government to embrace a policy change on adolescents’ age of access to Sexual Reproductive Health, SRH and HIV services to 14 years.
The Society who made the call during a media roundtable on ‘adolescents’ sexual reproductive health and age of consent said policy change would ensure that the age of maturity at 18 years will not constitute a barrier in accessing services.
Speaking through the Programme Manager of AVAC Project, David Ita appealed to the federal and state government to facilitate Preexposure prophylaxis, PrEP, access to adolescent and young people who at the risk of HIV infections.
“PrEP should be part of a combination prevention package embedded in SRH services for young people.
“Discrimination and stigmatization of persons due to their HIV status, age range or sexual orientation by healthcare providers should be stopped while adolescent health tolls for providers and schools be updated to include PrEP.
Corroborating his view, Coordinator for Civil Society for HIV & AIDs in Nigeria, Aladeyelu Adebayo admonished government to legalize abortion for special cases such as rape survival, “adolescent and young person’s should be able to access SHR service to reduce the high rate of unintended pregnancy and abortion complication.
“Government should create pathway for adolescents and young people to access post-abortion services to reduce the mortality and morbidity of adolescents’ girls and young women attributed to complications from unsafe abortions. Promote adolescents’ youth-friendly services at least one in each of the Local government.