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*By Kazeem Awojoodu, Ibadan.
The UNFPA has collaborated with HACEY Health Initiative on youths empowerment.
SWIndependentnews.com.ng reports that the United Nations Population Fund Youth Participatory Platform (UNFPA) has partnered HACEY Health Initiative to empower over 100,000 Nigerian youths on sexual and reproductive health education.
The development according to a  statement issued by the Coordinator, UNFPA/YP, George  Adjete who stated that the  collaboration by both organizations  was aimed at raising awareness, training and granting young people access to available sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS services.
Mr. George according to a copy of the statement made available to the SWIndependentnews.com.ng disclosed further that over 100,000 Youths in four states of the Southwest region of Nigeria, that is , Oyo, Lagos, Osun and Ekiti were trained  successfully in areas of need under the initiative known as Beyond Treatment For Us Project  (BT4U ).
The statement further reads : “The Beyond Treatment for Us (BT4U) project was piloted in response to the new political declaration on AIDS 2021 as well as the emergence of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and implemented in July 2021”.
Globally, HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of  mortality among young people. In 2020, UNAids reported that  37.7 million people were living with HIV, and of these people, 36.0 million are adults, while 1.7 million are children between ages 0–14 years.
“The project targeted young individuals  across four states namely:  Lagos , Oyo, Osun  and Ekiti states,  thereby  providing them with necessary  information on HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment “.
“This also involves  free HIV and AIDS testing as well as  counselling services to over 100 young people”
 “Over 300 adolescents were trained on menstrual hygiene, 63 young people with free HIV testing services and over 50 young SRHR Policy advocates were trained on Evidence based Advocacy.”
“Thankfully, these activities have contributed immensely to the increase in access to Sexual and Reproductive Health information and services for young people especially trans-genders, sex workers, prisoners and homo-sexual in Southwest Nigeria”.

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