As part of events to commemorate the 2021 Worlds AIDS Day, Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Kwara State chapter on Wednesday visited selected secondary schools in Ilorin, the state capital , to raise awareness on the impact of HIV/AIDS and build crusaders among students who are to propagate the message further.
Speaking at the Ansarudeen LGEA School, Mrs Light Okubo, identified sex as largely responsible for HIV infection. She cautioned the young students against premarital sex, until they are of age and ready.
While admonishing them to guide against peer pressure and wrong influence, Okubo charged them to make a decision to abstain and wait till the right time.
Also speaking, Mrs Abayomi Ruth, advised against tagging a gender as carriers of HIV. She said there must be equality in testing and access to medical treatment.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Deborah Aremu, thanked the organizers for their sacrificial effort towards curbing spread of the virus.
The Commissioner, represented by Hajia Alabi Amuda Idiat, charged the teenagers to heed the advise and share with others. She also admonished the teachers to help in continuous sensitization for the students.
The Kwara State Coordinator, Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Tosin Apiriola-Ajayi said the event by coaltion of CSOs across the state is to sensitize the pupils at this critical age of adolescence.
Apiriola-Ajayi noted that although, the rate of HIV is reducing, there’s need for concerted effort to further reduce the rate especially among the young ones.
“We have 1.4% HIV/AIDS prevalence in Nigeria for people 15-49 yrs, North Central has highest of 7.5% and Kwara has rate of 2.2%,” she said.
Chairman, Organising Committee, Dr Adeola Adewusi, said the awareness also hopes to discourage stigmatization of patients and sensitize the public on the need to know their status by getting tested.
Some of the students also shared their experience and pledged to spread the awareness.
This year’s theme is End inequalities, End AIDS, End pandemic.