Despite the tremendous natural resource base, the region's potential for sustainable development remains unfulfilled.Most of the inhabitants live in rural, subsistence conditions characterized by a total lack of basic infrastructure, communications, road, electricity and pipe borne water. The inadequate health systems prevent the management of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The weakening of livelihoods and the social fabric in areas prone to oil exploitation creates additional problems in terms of care and support. Social instability has encouraged the spread of risky behaviours and poor economic conditions compound the chance of exposure to HIV.
The young people are are particularly vulnerable. Caywood Brown Foundation is a non-governmental organization, which targets HIV prevention messages and skill building for the young people aged 10-24 years in the Niger Delta region. The foundation has so far covered parts of Port Harcourt Local Government area of Rivers state mainly the villages of Ogbunabali and Elekahia. Workshops were held and lectures given on the causes and prevention of HIV/AIDS including talks on the care of PLWHA (People living with HIV/AIDS). Voluntary and confidential counselling and testing were carried out.
Report revealed that the fear of ostracization and being driven away from home by parents has augmented the fear of disclosure. Some of the young boys unwittingly share shaving blades either because they cannot afford one ot they do not know better.