Calabar- An NGO, Enhancing Nigeria Response on HIV and AIDS, has recorded 9 838 female sex workers in Cross River, the Programme Officer, Mrs Mary Mbukpa, said in Calabar.
Mbukpa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Calabar South Local Government Area among the 18 local government areas in the state had the largest concentration of the workers.
``There are more than 9 838 female sex workers in Cross River with Calabar South having the largest concentration and it is followed by Calabar Municipal Council,” Mbukpa said.
She said that other towns in the state with high numbers of sex workers were Ogoja, Obubra, Ugep, Ikom and Akamkpa.
She also said that Cross River was one of the states in the country with a high case of discrimination against Persons Living with HIV and AIDS.
Mbukpa said that 32 150 persons in the state were living with HIV virus, with female sex workers accounting for more than 20 per cent of the figure.
She said that youths in the state were the most affected by the scourge and advised adults to always go for HIV testing and counselling.
``Right now, less than 32 per cent of people in Cross River know their HIV status,” she said.
Mbukpa added that the lack of adequate knowledge by the public on HIV and AIDS was partly responsible for its high prevalence in the state.
She listed other factors accounting for the increasing prevalence of the virus in the state as multiple-sex partnership, peer groups, gay relationships and the erroneous view that HIV and AIDS could be cured by spiritual means.