The Institute of Human Virology-Nigeria (IHV-N) has described education as an effective “Social Vaccine” against HIV/AIDS.
The institute, therefore, advised parents to educate their children on how HIV and AIDS could be contracted and prevented.
The advice is contained in a statement issued by Mr Dennis Mordi, Head of Communication Unit of the institute, in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the risks of HIV and AIDS infection is more than halved for young people when they are informed about it.
“Silence about HIV and AIDS may often indicate to children that something is wrong and it should not be discussed.
“Talking to your child about HIV can be done gradually over a period of time depending on their age, the best way around it to spend time with the child, ’’ it said.
The statement said some children were exposed to HIV through sexual abuse and rape because of the myth that HIV could be cured through sex with a virgin.
It added that in some cases, young children were lured into sex work, which could expose them at a high risk of becoming infected with HIV.
According to the statement, adolescence is a period of heightened curiosity and seeking to discover the unknown in which sexual
activity is one of the mysteries.
“It is important to provide family health (sex education) talk in schools to empower youths on safe sex practices.
“Tough cultural issues in communities make it difficult to talk about sex with children but public awareness should create a means of informing families and the public on the issue, ’’ the statement said.
The IHV-Nigeria, is a not-for-profit organisation registered in Nigeria in 2004 to implement the President’s Emergency Plan for
AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to combat global HIV and AIDS.
The IHV-Nigeria also conducts research and training to provide care and treatment, training and research; respects for the dignity of the person; and hope for the people living with HIV and AIDS.
Source: Citizens Platform
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