By: JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Based on certain factors, there are more HIV positive girls than boys in Kaduna State.
UNICEF HIV specialist, Dr. Idris Baba disclosed this while presenting a paper titled: ‘An Overview of HIV and AIDS in Kaduna State a One-day Media Executives, Reporters and Producers Meeting on Preventing Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Adolescents and Young Persons (AYP) Support in Kaduna State, organised by UNICEF and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Zaria on Friday, August 10, 2018.
“Girl child more likely to be infected with HIV with 3.7 per cent of those aged between 20 to 24 years compared to 2.4 per cent among male counterparts currently infected in Kaduna State,” he said.
He explained that in Kaduna State, 10.00 adolescent girls and 8.800 boys are HIV positive.
“Boys have more knowledge about HIV than girls, in terms of negotiation powers, from statistics, more boys use condoms than girls.
“A boy can say I will not do until I wear a condom, while a girl may be forced into sex without the partner wearing a condom,” he said.
Dr. Baba said that it is unfortunate that every three minutes, an adolescent girl is being infected with HIV annually.
“1.8m adolescents living with HIV worldwide in 2017,” he added.
He said that the number of AIDS related deaths among adolescents in 2013 was 11,000.
On efforts at preventing prevalence rate of the virus, he said that 1.4m new HIV infections were averted among children in 2015.
He said that concerted efforts were being made to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 through 90-90-90.
“Ninety per cent of positive discovered, ninety per cent on treatment and ensure you achieve viral separation in ninety per cent of cases,” he said.
He explained that four factors were responsible for HIV epidemic among AYPs which include behavioural (multiple and concurrent sexual partners, intergenerational sex, sexual coercion, low risk perception and transactional sex) socio-economic factors, traditional and religious and cultural factors and ineffective sexually transmitted infection (STI) programming, poor integration of HIV and AIDS and SRH services.
He submitted that poverty is one of the main drivers of HIV prevalence.