To stem the rise of HIV among young people, the 4 Youth by Youth (4YBY) team led by Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Saint Louis University (SLU), New York University (NYU), University of North Carolina, Chapel-Hill (UNC) and ID Africa with funding from the Eunice Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, is organizing the first-ever HIV self-testing Designathon contest in Nigeria. 4 Youth by Youth advocates for the rights of young people to have a say with their own health and it is through this partnership and opportunities for dialogue that we can tackle issues such as low HIV testing which affects young people’s lives.

The Designathon is a 48-hour event in which young people from all over Nigeria will come together to collaborate, brainstorm, design, and communicate solutions to a social and health issue. This Designathon is dedicated to developing new services or products that can promote self-testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The event will offer participants the opportunity to learn, design and collaborate with industry leaders, experts, healthcare professionals, young people, regardless of technical experience. To be a part of this movement, here are the steps you can take to participate:

  • Create a team of 2 to 5 young Nigerians with the age of 14 to 24 years.
  • Complete the online form by visiting bit.ly/4ybydesignathon.
  • Submit a proposed solution to the problem statement “How Might we encourage self-testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among young people in NIGERIA in a way that is low cost, accessible, youth-friendly and confidential?” by February 24, 2019.
  • Participants will be notified by email regarding their application status.

With only about a quarter of young Nigerians that know their status, HIV testing among young people is often undermined by lack of confidentiality, stigma, discrimination, fear, and low perceptions of risk. However, self-testing is a new strategy with the potential to overcome these challenges. It allows an individual to collect his or her own sample, perform the test, and interpret the result either in private or with someone they trust. The Designathon will be a platform where eager, innovative and creative young Nigerians can bring about solutions that will promote HIV self-testing among youths. For more information, visit 4yby.org. Join the conversation on social media using #4YBYDesignathon #4YouthByYouth.