The University of Liberia (UL) and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), researching into several social and health-science based related issues in the country, hosted the first stakeholders conference to access HIV and AIDS, as well as youth risky behaviors this week.
The conference slated for November 18, in Monrovia, will make known its findings, based on a five year’s pilot project centered on HIV/STDs prevention for 15-17years-old and high risk adolescent Liberian youth, mostly girls and their behavioral skills.
About 150 participants made of national researchers from the private and public educational and health sectors, including institutions like Ministry of Health and all international partner organizations working in the country, are expected to be in attendance.
UL-PIRE Africa Center, based in Liberia, is responsible for communication for the rest of the continent on such research nature of work. The conference hopes to serve as window of opportunity for HIV/AIDS studies to engage networking in decentralizing other projects to the benefit of the whole country and its citizenry.
Other aspects the conference will be looking at is how to close the gap in HIV/AIDS related awareness skills, while information from the project’s findings could be used by the Ministry of Health, Education and donor organizations, to enhance intervention.
The UL-PIRE Africa Center project, HIV/STDs prevention for high risk youth in Liberia, which begun in 2006 and ends in 2011, is a US$ 2m, five years’ National Institute s of Health(NIH) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services founded program.
The program had a three pillars-based focus which looked at infrastructure development, capacity building in specialized skills and research/social and health issues. As part of the study, according to UL-PIRE Africa Center, a survey was conducted between three to six months in stages among 706 youth from Montserrado County, placing the county into four zones.
These willing participating youths were divided into groupings of four and six and went into life skills training to make them more accessible and useful.