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International Condom Day: AHF counsels young people on abstinence, safe sex

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From Msurshima Andrew, Makurdi

A Non Governmental Organization, (NGO), AIDS Healthcare Foundation, (AHF), Nigeria, has called on young people across the country to practice safe sex by using condom rightly.

AHF Advocacy and Marketing Manager, Steve Aborishade, who spoke on Tuesday in Makurdi, at the end of a road walk and distribution of condoms and flyers, an event being part of activities marking the 2024 International Condom Day, said safe sex education is crucial to preventing STIs and unwanted pregnancies.

International Condom Day: AHF counsels young people on abstinence, safe sex
International Condom Day: AHF counsels young people on abstinence, safe sex

The organisation, during the event, rendered free HIV/AIDS testing and counseling to 3,000 persons just as they distributed 75,000 packs of condoms to both young and older people in Makurdi, the Benue State capital and to those in six other states across the country.

According to Aborishade, AHF has concluded arrangements to build STIs clinic in Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Abuja to cater for the treatment of sexually transmitted infections in Nigeria.

He explained that the International Condom Day is usually celebrated on February 13th as a global event, a day before Valentine’s Day, in a bid to promote prevention of STDs, including HIV and unwanted pregnancies through free condom distribution, safer sex awareness events and HIV Testing Services.

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According to him, AHF is aware of what happens among young people during Valentine’s day, hence to share love, and in sharing love, there is a lot of sex.

He said AHF always advise young people to abstain from sex but a situation whereby they cannot abstain, they should always use condom for protection.

Aborishade who noted the rising cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and cases of HIV among the young generation, said it is important to give them the right education and information about safe sex.

“We encourage young people to abstain from sex which is the best decision but majority of young people can’t and that’s why we are encouraging them to use condoms properly and frequently.

“We are partnering with, Apin, Bensaca, Network of youth organizations to create awareness. The theme of this year celebration is “Just use it”. These condoms are being distributed today in seven states. We are also starting an STI clinic in June at AHF in Makurdi and Abuja and it is strictly for STI treatment.

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“Some people have STI and they don’t know they have it but with the establishment of the clinic, people would have opportunity to be attended to,” he said.

Speaking, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Ann Itodo, commended AHF for creating awareness about safer sex and the need to control STIs amongst youths in the state.

Represented by a Director in the ministry, Mrs. Magdalene Doo, Mrs Itodo said everyone must be involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other STIs in the state .

She assured that the ministry is ready to collaborate with AHF to educate and enlighten the people of the State and call on the organization to join the ministry to celebrate this year’s International Women’s day in order to create more awareness about STIs in the State.

Also speaking, the AHF Head of Diseases Control, Mrs. Amina Iyaji, said the rate of STIs has reduced drastically due to activities of the organization and assured that they would continue to create more awareness about safe sex.

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