“Today is World AIDS Day. Together we can do it, together we can be sure that no one is left behind. What we are doing today is awareness creation. HIV/AIDS can be prevented. For those already with HIV, we can control it. The treatment is available, drugs are available. There are things that can be done, safe sex life is one of them. If you can, please, abstain but if you cannot; use a condom. Have one sex partner. But we know that this is difficult. People have multiple partners. The best is abstinence but if you must, then use a condom. At Youth Friendly Centre of University of Port Harcourt, we are positioned to talk to Youths. One fourth of our country Nigeria is Youth. If youth are not looked after then our future is in jeopardy. Parents should try, it is not easy trying to put food on the table and so, parents are not there all the time. Parents should try to be there for their children, create more time to spend with your children, talk to your children, they listen if they are spoken too. If you don’t talk to them, they will find somebody to talk to them and you never know what they are telling them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV53UFPgeLE
Leaving no one behind, together we can do it and everybody counts is our theme. Youth, adult, children, everybody should be aware that we can get HIV. We can also prevent it. There are other means of contracting HIV, like through blood transfusion, mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, breastfeeding; it is not only through sexual activity. We should all be aware, do not share sharp objects, do not use the same barbing tools, do not use the same manicure sets as others. All those at the saloon they know, so they tried to sterilize their tools but it is better to use new tools one per person”.
In his part the vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof NDOWA LALE, has said stigmatization of HIV/AIDS patients is based on ignorance adding that HIV is like other ailments therefore appealed to HIV patients to take their drugs constantly. “The intent of what we are doing today is to bring public attention, to focus on a global problem we need to address and one of the things we have done today includes physical work, physical activity, it will help us to keep fit and keep well. Above all, was to drag attention that HIV AIDS can be prevented. Stigmatization is based on ignorant. AIDS is like any other ailments; is like High Blood pressure, Diabetes, anything you can think of. There is no reason to be stigmatized. People who have it should not be scared because people are against them. No, they should live their full life. If they take their full drugs they will live their full life on earth. We should all take our life and health seriously. We should not live in ignorance, we should have the knowledge of the issues of life”.