Background Adolescents are among the vulnerable groups at risk of HIV infection. In Nigeria,the high HIV prevalence and teenage pregnancies amongst in-school youths underscores the need to implement effective interventions that address risky sexual behaviours and ultimately reduces the transmission of HIV. This study examines the outcome of Combined Prevention Interventions (CPI) amongst in-school youths in Kwara state,Nigeria.
Methods The MSH Nigeria USAID funded ProACT project supports the Kwara State Government to implement effective and sustainable HIV prevention intervention that promotes adoption of abstinence amongst in-school youths. At Government Secondary School, Bode Sa’adu, 30 (13Males, 17Females) students were trained as Peer Educators using the Family Life HIV Education (FLHE) training package. Information for planning effective HIV Prevention interventions for the target population was generated through questionnaires administration and Focus Group Discussions. The knowledge and skills acquired by the PEs were cascaded to other students using the Minimum Package of Prevention Intervention (MPPI),which addresses behaviour change through the combination of prevention interventions targeted at individuals and communities. Each PE formed a cohort group of 10–15 peers and conducted activities under the Abstinence and/or Be Faithful prevention strategies to promote adoption of positive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) behaviour among their peers. Outcome of the prevention intervention on teenage pregnancies pre and post interventions were analysed.
Results Prior to this intervention, about 10–15 unintended teenage pregnancies were recorded annually (from 2005–2011) at the school resulting in school dropout, unsafe abortion and death. However,after 20 months of implementation,number of teenage pregnancies reduced from 11cases in April 2011 to zero in December 2012. In addition,students also acquired life building skills that resulted in their overall academic improvement and wellbeing.
Conclusion Effective implementation of the CPI/MPPI that focuses on addressing individual and community behaviour can go a long way in achieving sustainable positive SRH behaviours among in school youths.
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