The newly-formed Nigerian national youth alliance has made increasing youth-friendly HIV and sexual and reproductive health services its top priority. The group will focus its efforts on ensuring that the needs of young people are met in the post-2015 agenda. It aims to do this by working with national decision-makers and development partners to ensure the priorities of young people are adequately addressed in intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 agenda.
Youth-friendly HIV services should be based on an understanding of, and respect for, the realities of young people. HIV services should be easy to access and welcoming for young people, meet their needs comfortably and should succeed in retaining young people in on-going care. Services should be provided by personnel who are trained to respond to the specific needs of young people and ensure confidentiality and trust.
Sixty youth representatives from across Nigeria participated in the ACT 2015! strategy meeting organized by Education as a Vaccine (EVA) in conjunction with UNAIDS, UNICEF, the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS. The meeting was held in Abuja from 4 to 6 August 2014.
ACT 2015! is a campaign that seeks to mobilize young people to ensure HIV remains a priority in the post-2015 agenda and that sexual and reproductive health and rights are a priority in United Nations negotiations.
Nine other countries are planning to hold similar events for young activists: Algeria, Bulgaria, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“The newly-formed Nigeria youth alliance is now ready to make the case for HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights issues before top decision-makers at the United Nations and the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
“Our youth and networks are better positioned to scale-up advocacy for inclusion of youth-friendly services in the post-2015 agenda.”
“Young people need a seat at the table and must be supported and empowered to provide leadership and innovative ideas which will be critical in ending the AIDS epidemic.”