login  |  create an account

All Amplify Blog Posts

Connect with Amplify

Sign up for Email Updates
Twitter
Share This Article
RED

On Thursday April 10th, 2014 the Senate of the Nigerian National Assembly passed the HIV and AIDS Anti-Stigma and Discrimination Bill.  This Bill seeks to prevent the stigmatization of and discrimination against those living with or affected by HIV and AIDS in Nigeria.  It seeks to protect their human rights and dignity, while encouraging those that are infected to declare their HIV status in a more friendly community and country. If this bill is signed into law, it will become illegal for banks to firing a person living with HIV or for universities to conduct HIV testing as part of its routine medical examination for incoming students. To most people reading this, it seems that there should be no contention in the passage of the bill. However this bill has been introduced in the national assembly since 2006, so you can definitely understand the excitement from HIV and AIDS advocates in Nigeria.

Working for a youth focused organization, Education as a Vaccine (EVA), we were not initially concerned about this new piece of legislature.  As far as we were concerned, the bill was developed to protect the rights of HIV positive employees against institutions that terminated employment on the basis of HIV status.  We thought this bill had nothing to do with young people!  This assumption was not totally unfounded, as the process to develop the bill was led by the Federal Ministry of Labour, as a strategy for addressing workplace related violations.  It was not until 2009, when Gloria a young girl living with HIV, came to volunteer with EVA that we realised the importance of the bill.

“I was denied admission after passing all the requirements into university, because I tested HIV positive… They said I was a threat to the other students and so my admission was withdrawn…” These words from Gloria was the motivation to learn more about the new proposed law.  Working with Gloria and other young people, we reviewed the content of the draft bill and saw that there was no reference to the issues of young people.  Especially on the issues of mandatory HIV testing by education institutions; denial or withdrawal of school admission and treatment of HIV positive learner, who had disclosed their status, different in the school settings.  For example, some institutions could refuse to provide HIV positive students with accommodation on campus or created excluded areas of HIV positive students in dining hall.  As crazy as this might sound, these are opinions of some individuals, including students, who have justified these notions under the basis of protecting the “masses” from the epidemic.

In 2009, we launched the RED CARD[i] campaign to call for an end to HIV and AIDS stigma and discrimination in Nigerian schools by urging legislators to pass the bill with the inclusion of the youth specific recommendations.  The bill was passed by the House of Representative on October 2010.  We chronicled our experiences with this process in an article published by the Participatory Learning and Action journal edition 64 under the title What business do youth have in making HIV and AIDS laws in Nigeria?Since 2009, it has been an overwhelming process, as the bill was not prioritised in national assembly. A country with the 2nd highest HIV burden and an estimated 3.4 million people living with HIV and AIDS as at 2012. So we can put this number into perspective, 3.4 million is more than the total population of several African countries, including Gabon and Namibia (approximately 2.2 million and 2.1 million respectively).  It was not until 2012 that we saw some attempts by the national assembly to move the process of passing the bill. This was partially due to the new leadership of the Senate Committee on Health and the House Committee on HIV and AIDS, Senator IfeanyiOkowa and Representative Joseph Kigbu.  These two legislators were more open and willing to take inputs from advocates, especially young people, which provided the needed platform for us to get our recommendations considered.   An example was our participation in the public hearing on the bill organized by the Senate Committee on Health, where our youth advocate group made an oral presentation about the issues of mandatory HIV testing, stigma and discrimination faced by young people living with HIV and AIDS. Read more about the public hearing and the youth advocate group in our 2013 annual report.  

 

The passage of the bill is a major excitement for us at EVA but what is even more moving is the fact that there are references to young people in the bill. Although the final version of the bill passed by the Senate is not yet available to advocates, media reports including one from the Punchstates an actual recommendation made by EVA and young people. “It further made it an offence for any educational institution, private or public, to demand HIV / AIDS testing as part of its routine medical testing requirements for admission or accreditation of learners.”

While this is a significant gain, we know that the battle is not yet over. For the bill to become a law, both arms of the legislative arm must harmonize their individually passed bill.  We will continue to follow up on both the leadership of the Senate and House of Representative Committee to make sure that the recommendations we have made make it to the final bill.  Once the reconciliation of these bills is completed, we need to ensure that the President signs it into law. Given the pace for which other human rights related bills have been passed, we hope this bill will not suffer any further delays.


[i] In football, misconduct may result in the player either receiving a caution from the referee

(indicated by a yellow card) or being dismissed from the field (indicated by a red card).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: HIV
Share This Article

Thoughts at puberty”

Thoughts may come and go,
And minds made decisive,
Mates may stay to cuddle,
And tears cease to stop,

http://reverbednothesblog.wordpress.com/category/poetry-sex-ed/

Share This Article

Ways to stay healthy

Being healthy is a major concern to many people. However, there are those who do not do anything to maintain their health as required. Usage of EHIC Card will keep you healthy by providing quality medical checkups at free of cost. Being healthy will ensure that you keep diseases at bay. In case you would like to know the ways in which you can be healthy, then you have come to the right place.

Reduce the level of stress

Stress plays a bigger part for those who are unhealthy. It is therefore important that you reduce the stress levels. If you have stress in excess, then you will bring a lot of problems to your health. It will lead to having problems such as mental problems, weak immune system and high blood pressure. You will be able to reduce stress by doing yoga and meditation.

Get enough rest

The amount of sleep that is required usually varies between individuals. You should always make sure that you get enough sleep. Sleeping will heal your blood vessels. Sleeping will bring about a balance in your hormones. For your body to function as required it is vital that you get enough sleep. If you notice that your body is tired and you are feeling sleepy, then it is advisable that you go straight to bed. You should make sure that you sleep for about eight hours every day.

Take plenty of water

A bigger percentage of our body is made of water. This shows just how important this commodity is to our health. You should make sure that your body is well hydrated. For the cells in your body to function as required, they need water. Water will ensure that your body is in the right temperature. It is vital that you drink a lot of water so that you replace the ones you lose when you sweat.

Exercise

Doing daily exercises is important to maintain a healthy body. You will be able to control your weight and muscles by doing regular exercise. You can do simple exercises such as walking. You should make sure that you do at least 150minutes of exercise every week. In case your health is being affected by the exercise that you do, then you should consult your doctor before you get started.

Eating healthy

You should make sure that you eat healthy so that you provide your body with the right nutrients. This is essential for maintaining a healthy body. Some of the foods that you can eat include: poultry, eggs, lean meat, low fat dairy foods, whole grains, nuts, fish and avocados among others. Do not eat refine and processed foods. This is because they have a lot of sugar.

These are just some of the ways that you can use to improve your health. You will be able to live longer by adopting healthy living. Staying healthy will also ensure that the diseases are kept at bay. They are very simple to follow. Go ahead and start living healthy, you will be amazed at the benefits it will bring to your health.

Categories: Health Care
Share This Article

TW: Discussion of rape and sexual assault

Nonconsensual Sex: How Colleges Rebranded Sex

“It should not be called nonconsensual sex. Rape is rape. It’s a crime. It’s a felony.”

via Al Jazeera America

Categories: Sexual Violence
Share This Article
promswag4-up-M

Prom season is in full swing! Students across the country are reserving limos, renting tuxes, and posing for those classically awkward photos for their parents. But while we’re enjoying the glamour, let’s not forget safety! It’s always better to protect ourselves – and our partners – and these images are a reminder to do it in style. #promswag!

Share on FacebookIt’s always better to protect ourselves – and our partners – and these images are a reminder to do it in style. #PromSwag. http://bit.ly/PromSwag

tweet-now-toutProtect yourself and your partner while getting your #PromSwag on http://bit.ly/PromSwag #safersex

abstinence #promswag
condoms #promswag
condoms #promswag
patch #promswag
pill #promswag
#promswag

Show your love for contraception methods, while getting your prom glam on.

Share on FacebookIt’s always better to protect ourselves – and our partners – and these images are a reminder to do it in style. #PromSwag. http://bit.ly/PromSwag

tweet-now-toutProtect yourself and your partner while getting your #PromSwag on http://bit.ly/PromSwag #safersex

Keep calm, and Prom on.

Share This Article
IMG_20140416_210255298

Last night was “Sex-A-Palooza” my big event for distributing condoms. I had sex related prizes, we played Sex Jeopardy and Words in A Bucket! When people walked in they were given goody bags with 3 Trojan condoms, 2 $1 off coupons and the instructions for using condoms. There were baked goods, chips and soda. We also had pins that were free, related to safe sex and Trojan! It was a great event and people had a lot of fun!

Categories: Condoms
Share This Article

“I\’m standing my ground on the right to #birthcontrol! #no527 #nopersonhoodsc @TellThemSC.”

Share This Article
GYT_Logo

Since April is GYT month, I have been talking to some friends and informing others to go get their selves tested, but I’ve noticed that they don’t really care. They either say, “I’m safe, I don’t catch STD’S, it’ll never happen to me…” or they just laugh at me and say no or call me “mom”. I don’t get it.

If only teens actually realized the importance of getting tested and being safe now, it would make such a big difference in the U.S being known as one of the top countries with the highest rate of STD’S.

Just because people are laughing at my face and calling me mom will not stop me from informing others, passing out condoms, and offering my help. Getting at least one person to go get tested will be an accomplishment to me.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

I have seen people change and at the same vein witnessed a retrograde in youths. I have been around areas where there\’s no hope for light and peace, but in this same situation some people still survive.

I have been around youths – Boys and Girls, that have made life difficult for themselves due to lack of knowledge. And my countenance has dwindled, because I have witnessed a holocaust of ruined lives in the past, even now.

I love peace and the prospect it brings. I love sanctuary – a foundation laid on the rocks of simplicity and the Arm of Justice.
I stand against the illegal acts displayed by the so-called Governmental body. I stand against rape, child abuse and its associated acts. I stand against the malfunctioning of child rights and value – I stand for a change, as an \”Advocate\”.

I stand as a Youth, Not a man, alone. But with men – the colony of change.
\”A man cannot be a faculty, men can. The necessity of change begins with not one man, but with the uniformity of all\”.
(Victor Omovbude Brown)

I stand against – Child punishment, Tribalism, criticism, Discrimination, and Queer visions. I stand for change, which is my first goal. As a youth, I stand for Unity, Peace and Progress.

I stand for a free and transparent Health service attributed to (children,youths and adults) – I stand against unequal rights and segregation in roles.
I stand for Quality Education – Void of preferential treatment, equal for all.
I stand against poor governance.

I am an \”Advocate For Youth\”.