Dr. Sani Aliyu, the Director-General, of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), has called on Nigerians especially the youths to express love within the context of caring and avoid risky behaviour that might lead to the spread of HIV/Aids and STDs.
He urged Nigerians to maximize the spirit of love and togetherness that Valentine’s Day signifies, to know their HIV status.
“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 behaviors as we commemorate Valentine’s Day. Love Wisely, Share Love not HIV”.
“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.
He said new HIV infection is currently high among the youth.
“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.”
The DG said 4.2% of people living with HIV in Nigeria are young people aged 15-24 years.