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A holistic approach towards HIV/AIDS alleviation in Nigeria

10 December 2013, 13:58 Nwanneh Emmanuel Madu.

December 1st of every year has been set aside as world aids day.Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome(AIDS),a dire disease and a genocide to mankind has claimed much space in virtually every cemetery in the world.It has sent many people to early grave and it is still sending.amidst the popularity the ill-fated disease has gathered and the information available about the disease,people still fall victim of the disease,leading to gnashing of teeth,regret,and serial death around the globe.

Sex,among other ways of contacting HIV/AIDS is becoming a prerequisite for friendship/relationship.Most children under the age of 18 are not sexually educated,yet sexually active.Thanks to the advent of technology which the impact especially on the youth has been under severe criticism.At the comfort of our homes,with the aid of phones with internet connection,many can watch nude picture,pornograpic videos and even memorise the names of the porn stars more than their religious verses.The outcome of the foregoing are;increase in early and unwanted pregnancies, masturbation,rape,homosexualism
etc.Needles,syringes,sharing sex toys,mother to child medium,blood transfusion are other ways of contacting the desease.

About eight million one hundred and twenty three thousand five hundred and thirty six(8,123,536)people are at risk of having HIV/AIDS following the 5% HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in nigeria,using the population of 162,470,737(2011 world bank statistics) as yardstick.This made Nigeria the second country with the highest HIV/AIDS patient in Nigeria after South Africa.With this austounding statistics,feeble sex policies and orientation about sex,a persistent increase in the number casualty is immenient.

Alleviating the danger of HIV/AIDS requires a holistic approach by the stakeholders and in this case,everybody,group,institution is a stockholder because in this era where pre-marital sex and extra marital affairs are gaining ground and gradually overthrowing our cultural ethics and biblical allusions,no body is safe;be it married or unmarried.

Initially,family was an agent of socialisation,money was secondary to family name.Recently most families have adopted positive economics principle as their guiding theory and urge their children to make money at all cost,including prostitution.The economy is not smiling at most parent and it is not giving them time to monitor their children.Adhering to parental control code advice seems impossible for parents thereby exposing children to things they ought not to watch on television.Parent/children sex education is becoming a thing of the past,thereby exposing them to learn on the street or internet  and before you say jack,on the job training will commence.A strict family value anchored on training by example is the beginning of a fierce fight against HIV/AIDS.

Schools also have a responsibility to play.Most schools dont have sex education in their curriculum.Is it not disheartening for an eleven year old girl,a jss 1 student to ask her mother if always ultra is a sweet biscuit after watching always ultra advert on television?it is a clear indication that despite the effort of the media to create HIV/AIDS awareness,parents and schools have failed as an agent of societal upbringing.Schools should teach students topical issues regarding to sex and its related diseases because some children are from broken homes and stay with their dad who have little or no knowlege about the development of girl children.

The role of religious organisations, clergies in this fight can not be over emphasised.Preaching against sexual immorality,indecent dressing should be intensified rather than prosperity preaching.The fashion in most of the churches are absolutely absurd.An unhealthy generation despite their prosperity is a generation sitting on time bomb.Therefore,a society void of immorality and negative minds is an instrument against HIV/AIDS.

Civil society group,non-governmental organisation,faith base organisation,etc are not left out of this fight.They can help in advocating better policies,orientation,finance programmes relating to HIV/AIDS,distribution of condoms,free HIV/AIDS screening and counselling centres and drugs for victims.

Government as part of their social welfare programmes has to implement policies and institutions that will regulate the activities that will increase HIV/AIDS.for instance,same sex marriage and prostitution is prohibited in Nigeria.National agency for the control of aids(NACA) is an example of government effort to curb HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

It is crystal clear that war against HIV/AIDS is not just for government alone but for every one.This systemic approach is required for an ideal HIV/AIDS alleviation in Nigeria.In the words of winston churchill,healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.In the same ideological perception,having a healthy citizen is everybody's responsibility.

@nwanneh_emma is a fresh graduate of public administration,univerity of Abuja

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