- Nigerian youths across the country have been warned against getting involved in risky behaviours
- The director-general of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS said new HIV infection is currently highest among young people
- Gambo Aliyu also said that young people while celebrating the season of love - Valentine - must ensure they abstain from sex and play safe where necessary
As many continue to celebrate Valentine's Day, wine and dine with loved ones all in the spirit of love, Nigerians especially young people have been urged to play safe.
The call was made to Nigerians by the director-general of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Gambo Aliyu.
In a statement signed by Toyin Aderibigbe, NACA's head of public relations and protocol, Aliyu said he wants to use this season of love to encourage Nigerians, especially young people, to know their HIV status and avoid risky behaviours.
Aliyu said that new HIV infection is currently highest among young people aged 15-24 years and it is important to reduce this worrying trend among Nigerian youth.
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Stating this can be achieved by encouraging faithful relationships for those who cannot abstain from sex to practice safer sex, Aliyu said every risky behaviour must be avoided.
This period is particularly noted for young people expressing their love for one another.
The DG NACA urges Nigerians, especially the youths, to express love within the context of caring deeply for their loved ones and avoid behaviour that will make them vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.
"As we express love on this day, remember to Love Wisely. As members of the wider society, your health and productivity is vital to the future of our country."
"So, I urge you to avoid risky behaviors as we commemorate Valentine’s Day. Love Wisely, Share Love not HIV. Get a HIV test today.”
He further wished every Nigeria a Happy Valentine’s Day!
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As the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS continues globally, Nigeria has been urged to do all it takes to end inequality among persons living with the virus.
The call was made by the country director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Erasmus Morah.
Morah said Nigeria must not rest its oars in the effort to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to their newborns.
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The flag-off ceremony was organised by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS in Abuja on Tuesday, November 30.
Also, emergency calls were made to ensure state governments sit up in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
There was also a call for the inclusion of inmates in various correctional facilities in the HIV/AIDS treatment plan.