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Social and behavioural aspects of prevention poster session 1: Adolescents
P2-S1.03 Our adolescents! My sexuality matters (MSM) the lessons we have learnt
  1. O D Obi Peter
  1. Asso. of Positive Youth Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria APYIN, Abuja, Nigeria


Background As in many developing countries, as in Nigeria STI is increasing among the adolescents. While life skills can improve their behavioural practices, traditional training approaches may not be a feasible approach to be reaching the vast number of adolescents that are sexually active, who do not know both STI and HIV status. Many youth initiate sexual risk behaviours in preadolescence, yet STI, HIV prevention programmes are typically implemented in adolescence, missing an important window for prevention. Pre-risk prevention efforts are needed to equip youth with knowledge and skills to make healthy and responsible decisions about sexual behaviour against STIs.

Methods My Sexuality Matters, a re-orientation base programming was employed to reach out to youth early with sexual health prevention messages through the parents. Parent-child communication, we developed and rigorously evaluated program that enables parents to help shape their children's decisions about sexual behaviour. My sexuality Matters (MSM) is base on intervention provided directly by parents who are care givers of children; this gives parents knowledge and skills to communicate about sexuality with their children. Lesson Learnt: Significant cultural taboos exist in Nigeria that bars parents from speaking with children about sexuality and sexual decision making. Additional challenges include rites of passing rituals, and cultural Challenges that the altered the context of sexuality education. Despite these challenges, over 40 000 Nigerian families have participated in My Sexuality Matters (MSM), and the program has been adopted by other countries and many families have continued embracing MSM initiatives.

Conclusion The success of MSM demonstrates that programmes involving parents as sexuality educators and motivators can be implemented and embraced and reduce to the vulnerability of adolescent, youths to STIs. The willingness of parents to rebrand the cultural norms to protect their children's sexual health.

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