PERSPECTIVES PAPER: Tackling the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Adolescents Living with HIV/AIDS: A Priority Need in Nigeria

Morenike Oluwatoyin Folayan, Abigail Harrison, Morolake Odetoyinbo, Brandon Brown

Abstract

Very little is known about the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) in general
and the needs of those in Nigeria specifically. A review was conducted to identify the SRH of ALHIV, assess if these are
different from the SRH of adolescents who are free from HIV infection, and from those of adults living with HIV. Few research
have been conducted on how ALHIV deal with sexual and reproductive health challenges faced in their everyday lives - as
adolescents and as persons living with HIV living in sub-Saharan Africa - to help make any meaningful inferences on these
differing needs. The review suggests that the SRH needs and practices of ALHIV may differ from that of other adolescents and
that of adults living with HIV. ALHIV would require support to cope with sex and sexual needs, through full integration of
individualized SRH services into the HIV services received. Service providers need to appreciate the individualistic nature of
health problems of ALHIV and address their health care from this holistic perspective. A 'one-size-fits-all' approach for designing
SRH programmes for ALHIV would not be appropriate. We conclude that research evidence should inform the design and
implementation of ALHIV friendly SRH programmes services in both urban and rural settings in Nigeria. (Afr J Reprod Health
2014; 18[3]: 102-108)

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