Saturday, 26 January 2013

HIV/AIDS Reports : Nigeria's future not secured

The Executive Director, Centre for Population and Environmental Development, Professor Andrew Onokerhoraye, has said that the rate at which HIV/AIDS currently is spreading among the youths is a threat to the future of Nigeria.

He raised the alarm Thursday while speaking on the subject, ‘Young People at Risk of HIV/AIDS in Edo State: What should We Do?’ during the public presentation of the African Journal of Reproductive Health (AJRH), published by Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC), in Benin City.

According to him, data from the National Action Committee on AIDS, NACA, reveals that among the sexually active of 15 to 19-year old, only 34.4 percent used condoms at their most recent sexual encounter, and that “by age 13 years, a quarter of secondary school students sampled in some parts of the country had had sexual intercourse.”

“Research in Nigeria also confirms that many young persons participate in risky sexual activities, including early debut in sexual activities, sex with many partners, low and inconsistent use of condoms,” Onokerhoraye said, adding that “it has been found that those who are married at younger age have less knowledge about HIV/AIDS and are more likely to believe they are at low risk for becoming infected with HIV.”

He noted that youth in rural areas are particularly disadvantaged since educational and prevention programming does not reach them, “leaving them more vulnerable to infection than urban peers.”
The former Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, UNIBEN, listed challenges hampering the awareness campaign to include difficulty in accessing the “very insignificant fund provided for the HIV/AIDS campaign programmes and lack of political will by appropriate government ministries and agencies to organise awareness programmes in schools and out of schools in different parts of the country.”

While pointing out that the recent increase in fund for the fight against HIV/AIDS from N2 billion to N5 billion was not even enough, Onokerhoraye called on Federal Government to increase funds budgeted for the control of the disease across the country in order to increase the awareness among the youths.

Culled from Pm News

By Admin


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