HIV continues to disproportionately affect adolescent girls: 30% of new infections occur in youth aged 15 to 24, of which girls are 6 times more infected in the 15 to 19 age group.
Education Plus is an initiative implemented by UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN-Women for the education and empowerment of adolescent girls launched on Monday, June 21, 2021 in Cameroon. Its motto is + education = + information = + I am protected from HIV, « Education Plus ». This action aims to provide adolescents, girls and boys, with a complete set of « plus » services enabling them to meet their basic needs for a healthy and successful transition to adulthood. Likewise, it helps to create “environments where violence is excluded, as well as access to comprehensive sexuality education, but also to guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights, and to ensure the economic empowerment of young women by enabling them to successfully enter the labor market. »
It is an innovative response to the treatment and discrimination issues faced by young people living with AIDS at home, in school, in the health care system and in their communities.
The launching ceremony of the “Education Plus” communication campaign which was held on November 17, 2021 jointly with the Cameroonian Aids Month at the Bilingual High School Essos was rich interpellations towards adolescents, young people, parents as well as parents. actors in the fight against HIV / AIDS.
The Minister of Secondary Education, Pauline Nalova Lyonga Egbe during his speech called on adolescents and young people to change behavior with emphasis on the education of girls by inviting them to have their « Education Plus ». She said: « Know yourself and learn how to say no; No to sexual intercourse when it is not time; Make your life sweet by saying no”.
The ‘Education Plus’ initiative is « a well-known high-level advocacy for eliminating HIV infections by getting girls back into education through at least the end of secondary education. », declared the Minister of Public Health, Dr Manaouda Malachie. He therefore invites young people to take personal responsibility in the fight against STDs, especially HIV / AIDS.
Actions vis-à-vis adolescents and youth are more than ever a priority for all actors in the struggle against HIV in order to take up the challenge of protecting and improving the care of adolescents and youth and to guarantee secondary education, security, empowerment and emancipation for all adolescent girls in Cameroon.