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Adolescents’ socioeconomic and cultural vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and other STDs: research needs and priorities (WITHDRAWN)

Ezebunwa Nwokocha, University of Ibadan

Research on adolescents’ vulnerability to HIV/AIDS is replete with issues related to their socialization, behaviour, sex education, peer pressure and sexual abuse. While most studies lumped adolescents into one seeming indivisible cluster of investigation-subjects, some disaggregated them only on the basis of gender and education. Within these broad classifications of adolescents lie neglected sub-groups. For instance, little is known about the health and socioeconomic challenges faced by Floating Adolescents (FAs) and Orphans and Vulnerable Adolescents (OVAs). This paper notes that priority should be given to exploring strategies that will empower this largely dependent group to speak up against abusive acts that could bolster their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and other negative outcomes; conscientizing adolescents on how best to educate older persons on relevant safe-behaviour practices (bottom-top approach) and through that means reinforce their own learned attitude; and the most effective way of debriefing victimized adolescents for full reintegration into society.

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Presented in Session 112: Socio-cultural practices and reproductive health