The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has advised Nigerians to avoid engaging in risky behaviour during Valentine’s Day celebrations.
Mrs Toyin Aderibigbe, Head, Corporate Communication Unit of the agency, gave the advice in Abuja.
Aderibigbe described the day as a season of affection, and appealed for the need to share and show love responsibly.
She added that by behaving responsibly we can stop the spread of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria.
“It is important that young people are equipped with information to ensure that Valentine’s Day is celebrated by showing love to those who we care about in a safe and responsible manner.
As we celebrate love, we should remember that safe sex is not just about protecting ourselves, but also protecting those we love,’’ she said.
She also quoted Dr Sani Aliyu, the Director-General of the agency, saying that in the process of loving, love carefully, play safe and be faithful to your partner.
“If you are young and not sexually active yet, abstaining from sex will keep you safe from sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, otherwise protect yourself by using a condom at all times”, he said.
While urging Nigerians to embrace HIV testing to know their status, the director-general reassured that the agency will continue to provide treatment for the people found with HIV.
“If you do happen to carry the virus, we can give you treatment that will keep you healthy and stop you from spreading the virus to your loved one.
So get a HIV test today and stay safe on Valentine’s Day”,he said.