Posted by Josephine Agbonkhese | 9 February 2019 | 1,639 times
On December 1, 2018, Mrs Ifeoma Theodore Jnr Ezeobi, a writer, sex awareness advocate and staunch lover of teenagers and young adults, released video clips of three HIV-positive young adults who shared their tales of hope and implored the world to shun stigmatization, in commemoration of World Aids Day 2018.
Titled ‘HIV Among Adolescents, Teens and Young Adults, the video clips released through Ifeoma’s website and YouTube channel was produced in English and several Nigerian and international languages.
The author of two books, ‘My Daughters and I’ and ‘Trapped in Oblivion’, who has used her writings and speeches to mentor school children and young adults, discloses, in an exclusive interview with Saturday Vanguard, that her mission is ensuring that harmful practices such as stigmatization, teenage pregnancy, child molestation, rape and peer pressure, among others, that undermine the humanity of adolescents, are exposed and prevented.
According to her,”My mission on this project is to allow these young ones to tell their stories because they remain our future leaders whose interests and aspirations must be taken into consideration.
“I am saddened that government agencies that have the responsibility of seeing to the plights of children only give statistics about how bad the situation has been. They are never interested in taking concrete actions to rescue the situation.
“If statistics have deterred people, then there should be a decrease and not an increase in new cases.
On how she was able to convince those young adults to shun fear and openly speak about their status, she said “they were personally inspired to share their stories.
“It however began with a visit I made to a local government health centre in Lagos where I gave out some of my books, including ‘Trapped in Oblivion’, to adolescents who had tested positive to HIV/AIDs. After that visit, I later received calls from some of them who disclosed how the books had touched them and inspired them to relay their plights to the society.
“They told me how they were living with HIV/AIDs, and for how long they have had it. Those who have watched the video clips confessed that they never knew that there are young people who are living with HIV, and that they had thought that the scourge was only meant for older people. Most of them said it was the first time they’d seen people admitting to having the virus.”
•Excerpted from a Vanguard report
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