FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ogun State, Nigeria – October 2023 – AGE Network is excited to announce the significant progress and positive impact of our “HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention Program for Teenage Girls in Ogun State.” This crucial initiative, which commenced on December 1st, 2022, and will continue until November 30th, 2023, is dedicated to addressing the alarming prevalence of HIV/AIDS among adolescent girls residing in hard-to-reach communities within Ogun State.
Empowering Young Women with Knowledge and Resources
Our mission with this project is to empower teenage girls with the knowledge and resources necessary to protect themselves from the virus, ultimately reducing transmission rates and improving their overall well-being. We firmly believe that education, awareness, and prevention are key to addressing the HIV/AIDS crisis among this vulnerable population.
Key Inputs and Achievements
During the project period, AGE Network has undertaken several key activities to achieve its mission:
1) Peer Education and Life Skills Training: We organized peer education and life skills training sessions for vulnerable children within the target communities. These sessions equipped them as young HIV prevention leaders, covering topics such as sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and building self-confidence. Safe spaces were established in schools to provide counseling, sexual abstinence coaching, and peer learning support. Some girls were also trained to become HIV/AIDS leaders among their peers.
2) Weekly HIV/AIDS Prevention Education and Counseling: Our team conducted weekly HIV/AIDS prevention education and counseling programs in various settings, including streets, markets, schools, and communities. The primary aim was to dispel misconceptions about HIV/AIDS transmission and provide young women and adolescent girls with informative brochures, flyers, and condoms to prevent the spread of the virus.
3) Online Awareness Campaigns: AGE Network launched weekly online HIV/AIDS and sexual & reproductive health awareness campaigns as part of the “Belle by Choice” initiative. These campaigns featured live chats on platforms like Facebook and YouTube, with health experts educating and sensitizing young women and teenage girls on HIV/AIDS prevention and related topics.
4) Free HIV/AIDS Testing and Counseling: In collaboration with local healthcare centers, the Local AIDS Control Agency, and APIN Ado Odo Ota Ogun, we organized free and voluntary HIV/AIDS testing and woman-to-woman counseling sessions. This initiative coincided with the 2022 World AIDS Day, ensuring that individuals who tested positive received prompt referrals for proper treatment and care.
Successfully reached 1,251 young women and girls in hard-to-reach communities.
Conducted free voluntary HIV/AIDS testing for 742 youths, both young men and women.
Reduced the risk of HIV transmission by addressing misconceptions and providing information and condoms.
Established a peer-to-peer education program in community schools, empowering vulnerable children as peer educators.
Engaged with local stakeholders and organizations to mitigate challenges faced by vulnerable young women and children.
Built women’s confidence in getting tested for HIV/AIDS and helped them learn how to protect themselves.
Distributed 2,000 male and female condoms to young women and men in targeted communities, thanks to the support of DKT Nigeria International and Local AIDS Control Agency (LACA) Ado Odo Ota
Our commitment to ending HIV/AIDS among teenage girls in Ogun State remains unwavering. By raising awareness, preventing the spread of the virus, and empowering these vulnerable populations with knowledge and resources, we aim to create a safer and healthier future for teenage girls in the region.
We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Mercury Phoenix Trust, DKT Nigeria International, and Local AIDS Control Agency in Ado Odo Ota for their invaluable support in helping us provide the right information and knowledge to protect young women and girls from contracting this virus.
For further updates and information about our project, please visit our website https:www.agenetwork.org and follow us on social media:
YouTube: AGE NetworkTV
Together, we can make a significant impact in reducing HIV/AIDS transmission and improving the overall health and well-being of young women and teenage girls in hard-to-reach communities. Thank you for your continued support!