The National Agency for the Control of (AIDS) has called on youths to show restraint during Valentine’s Day, noting that HIV and AIDS are still prevalent in the country.
This is even as a new report has revealed that Nigerians were consuming 587m condoms annually.
NACA who gave the advice in a statement by its Director-General, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, said young women between the ages of 20 to 24 have an HIV prevalence rate that is three times that of men within the same age bracket.
The agency described February 14 as a day dedicated to love and “this makes couples celebrate the 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,” it added.
“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 three times as likely to be living with HIV as young men in the same age group.”
The agency further stated that among children aged 0-14 years, HIV prevalence is 0.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, a new report on condom access and utilisation in Nigeria by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in collaboration with NACA and the NOI Polls, has shown that Nigerians consume about 587 million condoms yearly.
It states that Nigeria needs at least 1.15bn condoms yearly to be able to attain 90 per cent coverage and bring down sexually transmitted diseases to a minimum.
The report which was unveiled by the Prevention Programme Manager, AHF, Adeleye Taofik, states that Nigeria will need an extra 564m condoms annually in order to achieve 90 percent coverage across the country.
The report reads in part, “The gap between current condom use (587m) and total need (1.15bn) to achieve 90 per cent coverage is 564m condoms annually.”
Furthermore, the report showed that the North-Central, South-South and South-East used more condoms than any other region in the country, at 44, 42, 40 per cent respectively.
South-West, North-East and North-West had 38, 26, and 22 percentages respectively in condom use. Also, more males had access to condoms than their female counterparts.