NACA Advises Youths To Avoid Risky Behaviours on Valentine’s Day

Nigeria_Valentines_DayAS Nigerians join the world to mark Valentine’s Day Saturday, the Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof. John Idoko, has urged fun-seekers to avoid risky behaviours.

In a statement Friday in Lagos, Idoko stated: “Beyond the sweet words and exchange of gifts, it is pertinent that the young and adults are equipped with adequate information and education on how to ensure that Valentine’s Day celebration is not taken out of context.”

The NACA boss, therefore, urged young people especially to take advantage of Valentine’s Day “to engage in meaningful activities that can contribute positively to their immediate environment and the nation at large.”

He further said: “Valentine’s Day is a day expected to show love and care to those we care about, including the less privileged people around us. It is not out of place to attend get-together parties or even hangout with one’s partner, but one thing that must be at the back of our mind is to ensure we do not engage in risky behaviours that can lead to unwanted situations, which we may not be able to control at the end of the day. As we celebrate love at this period of Valentine’s Day, it is good to note that safe sex is not just about protecting oneself, but protecting those we love. As a nation, we must all come together with our partners and loved ones to discuss human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic, and above all get tested.”

“It is also worthy to remind us of the ABC approach to HIV/AIDS prevention. This concept in its basic form suggests prevention, education and health promotion, which provide simple steps in curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS. This three-way approach emphasis on: Abstinence or delayed premarital sex; being safer by being faithful to one partner or by reducing the number of sexual partners, and correct and consistent use of condoms for sexually active young people.”

“Government, groups and eminent individuals should look at ways of providing more social and physical amenities that can engage the young minds and keep them busy. More recreational parks, sport arenas, museums and tourist sites need to be developed as this will provide opportunity for these young men and women to visit such places, instead of engaging in the already aforementioned risky behaviours.”

“NACA urges radio, television stations and newspaper houses to use their medium to pass on positive messages about the celebration of Valentine’s Day,” he concluded.

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