NIGERIA HIV/AIDS NEWS
Men responsible for spread of HIV/AIDS – Osotimehin
January 19, 2007
The Chairman of the National Action Committee on AIDS (NACA), Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, says Nigerian men are the major purveyors of the AIDS virus in the country.
He told newsmen yesterday in Katsina during an official visit that men should take full responsibility for the spread of the virus, “because they have continued to sustain prostitution by patronising prostitutes”. “They have also refused to use condom,” he added.
Osotimehin advised Nigerian men to control “the unhealthy behaviour” in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.
He regretted that in spite of the sustained campaigns by NACA, the behavioural change of Nigerian men had been very slow.
The chairman announced that there were some three million people living with HIV/AIDS in the country as at the end of 2005, noting that the figure had dropped to four per cent from 5.8 per cent.
He appealed to state governments to involve all ministries and local government councils in the fight against the disease.
He also appealed to state governments to transform the State Action Committees on AIDS into agencies, so that more budgetary provisions could be made for them.
Osotimehin had earlier paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Muhammadu Usman, as part of the sensitisation exercise.
Usman urged Nigerians to use the efficacy of prayers against the spread of the disease, saying that was one potent way to effectively wage the war against the pandemic.
The NACA chairman and his team were also received at Government House by the Acting Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Aminchi.
Aminchi pledged that the government would involve .all religious leaders in the fight against the pandemic by organising seminars and sensitising the people at all levels.