By Sola Ogundipe
AS Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s Valentine Day, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, cautioned against multiple sexual partners as it increases vulnerability to HIV.
Gambo, who said youths are more vulnerable to HIV infection, said everyone should know their HIV status. “Helping us achieve a country free of HIV is the greatest show of love towards our fellow Nigerians and the goal of NACA remains to scale up community efforts to provide national access to prevention, treatment, care, and support services.
“Valentine’s Day is dedicated to love, to show love to people around you. It is mostly a romantic holiday, so couples and would-be couples celebrate this day in a variety of ways.
“However, this period witnesses a lot of young people showing love in risky ways. Many impulsive decisions are made in the heat of the moment such as unprotected sex which often leads to unwanted pregnancies and increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.”
According to UNAIDS, the difference in HIV prevalence between women and men is greatest among younger adults, with young women aged 20-24 years more than thrice as likely to be living with HIV as young men in the same age group. Among children aged 0-14 years, HIV prevalence is 0.2 per cent.’’