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Human Rights Commission takes HIV/AIDS campaign to schools

By Ugochukwu Alaribe

ABA — IN its efforts to sensitize secondary school students about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, Abuja, in collaboration with the member representing Ukwa East/ Ukwa West federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Uzoma Nkem Abonta, has held a workshop at the Lady Victoria Obinya Juniorate, Umuorie-Asa, Ukwa West council area of Abia State.

The workshop which featured secondary schools in the area, dealt on frequently asked questions about HIV/AIDS; transmission, symptom, diagnosis, treatment, as well as a drama on the dangers of HIV/AIDS.

A cross section of secondary school students at the sensitization programme.

While welcoming the commission and other guests to the event, Principal, Lady Victoria Obinya Juniorate, Mrs. Judith Ufomba, had while welcoming the commission, advocated for the creation of Uzoma Abonta HIV/AIDS Sensitization club in all secondary schools in Ukwa federal constituency.

In his lecture at the occasion, Barr. Richmond Iheme, who outlined the various ways through which HIV/AIDS is transmitted to include; unprotected sex, unsafe blood transfusion, use of unsterilized objects, body fluids, mother to child transmission, among others, explained that sexual intercourse with an infected person accounts for the highest transmission of HIV/AIDS in the world and warned youths to stop watching programmes that can corrupt their minds.

“People should abstain from unprotected sex. If you want to have sex, use condoms. It is also unsafe to have sex with multiple partners. Sexual transmission accounts for the highest transmission of HIV/AIDS. Research has proved that girls and women are at risk of contract HIV/AIDS infection than men.

This is due to the peculiar nature of womanhood. Women are like receptacles, they receive; there is this tendency for the virus to hide in the female reproductive system. People should avoid unprotected sex to be free from HIV/AIDS. It is important that people visit approved hospitals to test for HIV/AIDS.

There is also what we call stigmatization and discrimination which refers to labeling and discriminating against some infected with the virus. HIV/AIDS cannot be transmitted through handshake,” she said.

He also identified rape, reckless sexual lifestyle, cultural practices such as female genital mutilation, inheritance of the wife and poverty which fuels sexual activity as some of the abuses that exposes women to HIV/AIDS infection.

Earlier, the Director of Planning, National Human Rights Commission, Abuja, Mrs Emily Herbert, had listed the mandate of the NHRC to include promoting, protecting and enforcing the rights of citizens and urged people whose rights are violated to seek redress at the commission.

“The Human Rights Commission can issue warrants for people to appear before the commission; we can issue warrant of arrest of people, we can also award compensation,’ she said.


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