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Youth urged to participate in 2019 HIV self-testing contest

Ahead of the World AIDS Day on December 1, 2019; Nigerian youths have been called upon to participate in the ‘4Youth By Youth’ (4YBY) HIV self-testing contest, aimed at closing the gap in HIV self-testing service delivery.

HIV self-testing is the process where a person who wants to know his/her HIV status, collects own specimen, which maybe oral fluid or blood; performs an HIV test and interprets the result, in privacy or with someone he or she trust. Despite the availability of these services, too many young Nigerians still lack access to comprehensive HIV self-testing services.

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According to the principal investigator of the 4Youth by Youth project statistics, Dr. Juliet Iwelunmor, one in five young people have never tested for HIV. She noted that the contest aims to close that gap.

“We believe that Nigerian youth can bring a new level of thinking to the most challenging problems in our society. We also believe that great ideas on how to promote and increase uptake of HIV self-testing among Nigerians can come from Nigerian youths themselves,”

The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day; ‘Communities make the difference’, she said is apt, noting that, letting young people lead and giving them the tools to address problems they are best positioned to solve, is what contributes to making a difference in the communities.

Submission of applications for the contest which began on October 15, 2019 and will end on November 17, 2019 by 11:59 pm while ideas would be shortlisted on November 22, 2019 after which qualifying participants would be notified.

First place winner of the contest is expected to go home with N250,000; second place, N150,000 while the third place will go home with N50,000.

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