Group of Nigerian Youth Recognised For Smart Idea on HIV/AIDS Self Testing Contest

Group of Nigerian Youth Recognised For Smart Idea on HIV/AIDS Self Testing Contest

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A team of Nigerian researchers has recognized three youth, who proposed smart ideas on the promotion of the HIV/AIDS self-testing among Nigerian youth. The HIV self-testing (HIVST) is the process by which people who want to know their HIV status perform HIV test themselves and interpret the result in private which will be generally conducted using rapid test kits, such as finger stick tests (on whole blood) or mouth swab tests (on oral-fluid).

The winners, Tony Akeju, Ginika Nzokwe and Idris Badmus, defeated 903 other contestants to come tops. Explaining the concept of self-testing, Mr. Badmus said it had the potential to expand the number of persons aware of their HIV status.

He said, “Its potential to reach those who may not otherwise test may enable the country to achieve a situation where 90% of Nigerians living with HIV may know their status. Self-testing allows people to test on their own without having to go to the clinics or health facilities. It empowers people by normalizing screening for HIV while giving individuals more rights and control over their own health.”

The contest is an initiative of the 4Youth By Youth (4YBY) Group. The latter is a team of Nigerian researchers led by Oliver Ezechi, a doctor at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Researchers (NIMR) and scientists at Saint Louis University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. They were backed by the United States National Institute of Health (NIH), Eunice Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development. The event which was held in commemoration of the World AIDS Day, held at the Police Training College, Ikeja, Lagos on Saturday.

 

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