This project is to scale up awareness and knowledge among youths in urban/rural settings concerning their health and sexuality with aim to reduce the transmission rates of HIV, other STIs and unintended pregnancies. Youth Network For Health (YONEFOH) will provide sexual health awareness, link youths with health service providers, create fora for parents/youths to talk about sex and sexuality, empower youths to make healthy decisions; and promote youth leadership.
HIV infection among youth in Cameroonian communities is high particularly among young women (3.5% nationally) due to inadequate HIV/AIDS education and unsafe sexual behavior. Few youth living with HIV receive treatment due to cost and limited youth-friendly services. Most parents shy away from sex related topics with their children. HIV stigma and discrimination, cultural beliefs and gender norms limit HIV prevention, care, and treatment efforts among youth.
We will target youth with Behavior Change Communication and critical health services and empower youth to make informed decisions. We will carry out voluntary counseling and testing (VCT); organize youth clubs to ensure HIV-negative youth stay negative and HIV-positive youth are linked to care/treatment. We will organize Parents Speak-up workshops to enable parents to talk about sex. Youth will lead education/advocacy in schools/communities. Other activities include sports and performances.
We will: Sensitize 50,000 youth on HIV/AIDS, STIs, and safe sex via health clubs; Screen 15,000 youth for HIV; Screen 1,000 youths for other STIs; Empower 1,000 parents to speak on sexual education with their children; Empower 315 club leaders ('gate keepers') to lead health clubs and carry out sensitization/ advocacy; Refer all PLHIV to Care and Treatment; Follow up HIV-positive youth to ensure uptake and retention to care; and Link all HIV-positive people to support groups.