HIV/AIDS in our Benue

Health, Stories 4/11/2013 by Robert Ekpeme

Brothers and Sisters, Friends! I feel the urge to share with you an issue that is a global challenge today.

HIV/AIDS has terminated the life of many teens/youths and marred the future of many others the world over. Of more interest to me is the case of the Nigerian teen/youth with particular reference to the Benue teen/youth.

According to the UNAids Report on Global Aids Epidemic 2011. More than 34 million people now live with HIV/AIDS. 3.4 million of them are under the age of 15. Every day more than 7,000 people contract HIV—nearly 300 every hour.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 60 million people have contracted HIV and nearly 30 million have died of HIV- related causes. Nigeria still has the second highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa and the highest in the west African sub-region. The most infected groups are between the ages of 18-24 years.

In Nigeria, Statistics in 2011 revealed that Benue state has for many years topped the chart of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS with over 600,000 persons living with the virus in the state, 10 out of every 100 persons are positive, with ages ranging from 15 to 49 years.

This indeed calls for concern. Prevention of HIV/AIDS is possible through taking a stand for:

  1. Total abstinence,
  2. faithfulness,
  3. diagnosis and provision of HIV/AIDS testing and counseling

And being mindful of hazardous threats like:

  1. ignorance,
  2. pre-marital sex,
  3. multiplicity of sex partners,
  4. sharing of blades/syringes, and so on.

Some schools of thought also advocate that the use of condom be encouraged among youths to check the high prevalence rate of the disease since the youths of today are unusually prone to pre-marital sex with unusual libido. Truth be told without mincing of words, ‘total abstinence’ for those not yet married and ‘faithfulness’ for the married are the morally and spiritually best methods of preventing the HIV/AIDS.

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