Stakeholders have advocated the urgent need for aggressive campaign in urban and rural settings on the prevalence of HIV with a view to curtailing its spread in the society.
Rising from a COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) stakeholders meeting in Ilorin on the Society for Family Health (SFH) NAHI grant in Kwara State, the participants were of the view that a number of people perceive undertaking medical test for the global scourge as unnecessary.
Convened by Kwara State Aids Control Agency (KWASACA), the meeting was the brainchild of SFH to interface with and inform participants on the implementation modality of the C19RM component of the grant and their roles as stakeholders.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary and Programme Manager of KWASACA, Dr Selim Babajide Alabi, regretted that many citizens still practice unprotected sexual intercourse in the state.
Alabi explained that because Kwara serves a gateway to States and borders the Republic of Benin, it is possible to have upsurge in the number of people visiting Kwara, especially during festive period.
He noted that some of the visitors, who came into the State for one activity or another during the festivities would likely indulge in unprotected sex, thus aiding the spread of the disease.
Also speaking, the Magaji Jalala, Tanke Oke-Odo Area of Ilorin, Mallam Akano Saheed, called for adequate sensitization of members of the public on the danger inherent in copulation between male and female without protection.
While warning against discrimination of HIV victims, the traditional chief harped on thorough monitoring of their movements in various local communities to prevent illicit sexual intercourse that could heighten the existing figures of victims of the menace.
The representatives of the state chapter of Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) and Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN) said government, traditional and religious institutions have a huge role to play in minimizing the disease.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abdullateef ‘Lanre Ahmed, said parents and families must help in advancing the advocacy to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Ahmed observed that the advent of social media has made sex between man and woman cheap with likely increase in the number of victims, urging relevant authorities to regulate the use of social media handles.
This medium reports that the meeting drew representatives from traditional institution, police, civil society organizations and religious groups among others.