The National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health, has awarded $7.5 million for an international research program to prevent and treat HIV infection among adolescents and young adults in Nigeria. Six other African countries and Brazil are also benefiting from this grant.
The study, called Prevention and Treatment through a Comprehensive Care Continuum for HIV-affected Adolescents in Resource Constrained Settings (PATC3H), will support research to develop strategies to identify youth at risk of HIV infection and those living with HIV and to enrol them into medical care programs.
Dr. Iwelunmor said, “our goal is to unleash Nigerian youth’s participation and innovation and creativity in decision making that affects their lives, starting with HIV prevention. We don’t mean to minimize the challenges of addressing health in Nigeria, challenges of which many of us in the health sphere are aware. But as we shall see with the 4YBY campaign, these challenges also provide opportunities for youth-inspired solutions that are often missing or not given the space to flourish. We believe that Nigerian youth can lead the way with ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat.”
According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, an estimated 1.6 million people ages 15 and older worldwide were newly infected with HIV in 2017.
PATC3H researchers will devise and test strategies for reaching out to youth at-risk for HIV and for enrolling them into care. If the strategies are successful, they will receive additional funding to expand their care and treatment programs. In Nigeria, Iwelunmor’s team in collaborative effort between Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) and several U.S. universities such as the Saint Louis University, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill alongside local Nigerian partners such as the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency, ID Africa and Pinpoint Media, has led to the launch of a For Youth by Youth Campaign (4YBY) to achieve an AIDS-FREE Generation in Nigeria.
Interested participants can join the HIVSelfTestingContest. Creative ideas on “How you will promote HIV self-testing among young people in Nigeria.” World-changing ideas can be submitted here: bit.do/HIVSelfTesting or firstname.lastname@example.org or via WhatsApp +234 90904 96884(YOUTH)
The best ideas come with cash prizes and support for business start-ups based on the ideas. Entry closes on 25th of November 2018. Top ideas will be announced on December 1st, 2018 (World AIDS Day). For further inquiry, visit 4yby.org and Instagram: @4youthbyyouth
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