Valentine: Avoid risky behaviour that could lead to HIV infection —NACA DG

The Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr. Sani Aliyu, has counselled Nigerians, especially the youths, to seize the opportunity of this season of love to know their HIV status.

In a Press release signed by the agency’s Head of Public Relations and Protocol, Toyin Aderibigbe, the DG said it was of utmost concerns that only one of six young people know their HIV status in the country.

“Knowing your HIV status is important for your future health and that of your loved ones,” Aliyu counselled.

The DG noted that about one in seven young persons in Nigeria experience their first sexual contact by the age of 15 years.

“This, together with the practice of having multiple sexual partners, increases HIV vulnerability among youths,” he warned.

The DG added, “New HIV infection is currently highest among young people aged 15-24 years. It is important to reduce this worrying trend among Nigerian youths by encouraging faithful relationships for those who cannot abstain from sex, and the use of barrier protection such as condoms, which prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases including HIV and unwanted pregnancies.”

He noted that this Valentine period is particularly worrisome, with young people expressing their love for one another.

The DG NACA urged Nigerians, especially the youths, to express love within the context of caring deeply for their loved ones and to avoid risky behaviour that will make them vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and other STDs.

“As we express love on this day, remember to love wisely. As members of the wider society, your health and productivity are vital to the future of our country.

“So, I urge you to avoid risky behaviour as we commemorate the Valentine’s Day. Love wisely, share love, not HIV. Get an HIV test today,” Aliyu added.
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