Are Nigerians reporting enough on HIV/AIDS in young people at international meetings?

  • S Babatunde Preventive and Social Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt


Background: Half of persons living with HIV/AIDS are below 25 years and majority of the remaining are believed to have been infected in their youth. The impact of HIV on young people has continued to generate increasing global medical, social, economic, political and academic interests. Aim: This paper reviews the pattern of existing documentation on HIV/AIDS regarding young people in Nigeria in presentations on this subject at international meetings and conferences. Methods: The review relied on a bibliography of 364 presentations from 17 books of abstracts and several solicited submissions, spanning 18 years, collated, indexed and published by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research and the National Action Committee on AIDS. A matrix was constructed to categorize and tally the abstracts by several technical themes against the characteristics of the young people, aged 10 to 24 years that they reported on. Results: Eighty-five (23.5%) out of the 364 were articles on adolescent/youths, the 18-year period, giving a rate of 4.7 articles per year. Regarding the context, 67 (78.8%) concerned adolescents/ youths of both sexes. About half (47 or 55.3%) were conducted among schooling adolescents/youths, and 23 (27.1%) involved out-of-school youths. Twenty-three (27.1%) titles were socio-medical research exploring knowledge, attitude, behaviour and practice; while three (3.5%) were studies of biomedical nature, involving serologic investigations. Reports of interventions accounted for over half (47 or 55.3%) of the presentations, most of which were on HIV awareness and prevention programmes. Conclusion: A low rate of reports on HIV/AIDS specific to young people at international conferences was observed, which does not reflect the level of importance and impact of the infection on this group of individuals. Amongst them, socio-medical studies, and interventions featuring awareness and prevention among schooling youths predominate. Interventions involving testing, treatment and care, and bio-medical studies especially involving vulnerable non-schooling youths, remain a challenge that must be faced

Keywords: HIV, AIDS, Reporting, International meetings, Nigerians

Port Harcourt Medical Journal Vol. 1 (2) 2007: pp. 109-112

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eISSN: 0795-3038