A Non-Governmental Organization, 4YBY has promoted HIV Self-testing amongst Nigerian youths through its Designathon competition.
The Principal Research Leader, Dr Juliet Iwelumor made this known to newsmen recently at a briefing organized in Lagos
Juliet said that the Competition gives Nigerian youths the necessary requirements for innovative solutions to HIV self-test.
“This is our first global HIV self-testing Designathon. The idea is that we want to give young people the spaces, resources and the tools they actually need to develop solutions that will encourage young people to self-test HIV.
“We found out during HIV testing that many many youths have never tested for HIV. In fact, one in five Nigerian youths, they say, have never tested for HIV.
“Now, there is a solution through HIV self-testing, wherein the privacy of your home and through a very low-cost means, you can test and you can know your result within 20 minutes.
“But we don’t want to make the mistake of going to young people and say come and test for HIV because often times, when researchers go, meet end-users or individual that matters, they never really use it.
“That is why we say let’s create a different model, bring young people together and tell them you are the ones we want to target. So, how will you create solutions that will encourage your peers to self-test
Speaking on the Designathon competition, The research leader said that 13 top teams from around the 127 teams have been expanding their ideas, expanding their solutions pitching them to the panel judges, who will ultimately help us choose five out of them that will make it to our Entrepreneurship phase.
She added: We want to pull out innovation, pull out creativity, pull out self-discovery so that they can then become agents of change by making solutions and take them to their peers, not what experts told them to do.