63.2% Adolescents In Imo Could Get HIV – Crossworld Care Foundation
A research conducted in Owerri Municipal Council in Imo State by a NonGovernmental Organzation, “Crossworld Care Foundation” has revealed that 63.2% of adolescents in the metropolis are having unprotected sex.
The result of the research was announced weekend at the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial in Owerri.
Crossworld Care Foundation through Mr. Ogundipe Ayodele of National Youth Service Corps/Millennium Development Goals [NYSC/MDGs] Community Development Service [CDS] Group and other facilitators, organized the event at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, 34 Field Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri West LGA of Imo State.
Mr. Ayodele added that while 73.8% of the school adolescents interviewed agreed to have had sex, only 14.6% used condoms, while 22.2% used it occasionally.
He therefore called on parents to get closer to their children to know what they are doing because AIDS is real and is killing people on a daily basis.
A statement on the official website of the Organization reads: “The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is much more than just a memorial. The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial serves as a community mobilization campaign to raise social consciousness and awareness about HIV/ AIDS. With 33 million people living with HIV today, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial serves as an important intervention for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and giving hope to new generations”
With the event by a coalition of some 1,200 Community Based Organizations (CBO) in 115 countries around the world, the Technical Assistant to the President on MDGs, Mr. Chukwuemeka Olebara who was represented at the event by Uchechukwu Anthony Olebara aka Blaze McBede a volunteer project facilitator of Crossworld Care Foundation, charged people to help those living with HIV/AIDS because only contaminated blood could transmit the disease.
He said that stigmatization of victims will kill them faster than the disease because even though they are living with HIV or AIDS, they are still human beings with dreams and rights just like everyone else.
“I’m still surprised to see some people thinking HIV/AIDS is still a myth. People are dying every day and the only way we can stop that is by doing what we have to do to stop the spread.
Most of us hear it the same way we hear the gospel and we still disregard it the same way.
We need to start taking it serious because we are talking about lives here.
People lose their dreams when they learn they have HIV while others get suicidal. Maybe it could have been prevented if we did a little of this or that, which is why we keep hammering against unprotected sex amongst unmarried people” he said.
Blaze McBede who is also an artiste and the Vice President of Imo State Chapter of the Professional Disk Jockeys Association of Nigeria stressed that to ensure we accomplish a world free of HIV and AIDS people will have to start taking the ABC prevention plans serious.
The plan include, Abstinence; Being faithful to ones partner and the use of Condoms.
The event was also marked at St. Judes Catholic Church 34 Artillery Brigade, Nigeria Army Obinze, Imo State, where youths lit candles as a mark of solidarity for those who in one way or the other have been affected by HIV/AIDS as well as the signing of a register where people wrote the names of loved ones they have lost to the incurable disease.