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Valentine: Share Love Not HIV, NACA DG Charges Nigerians



The director general, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Sani Aliyu, has charged  Nigerians, especially the youths, to express love within the context of caring deeply for their loved ones and avoid risky behaviors that will make them vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and other STDs.

He called on Nigerians to take advantage of the spirit of love and togetherness that Valentine’s Day signifies, to know their HIV status.

According to a press statement, the DG stressed the need for all Nigerians to know their HIV status, as it marks the entry point to prevention, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Aliyu advised that “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”.

He noted that this period is particularly known for young people expressing their love for one another while expressing worry that it could lead to impulsive decisions such as unprotected sex resulting in unplanned pregnancies and an increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.

“Young person not tested may not have the opportunity to enjoy future Valentine’s Days if he or she is diagnosed late or presents with terminal complications related to HIV infection and AIDS,” he urged.

Speaking further, the DG noted that,“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 STDs including HIV and unwanted pregnancies.”

He observed that the percentage of young persons aged 15-24 years living with HIV in Nigeria is about 4.2%.