As Valentine’s Day approaches, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has cautioned Nigerians against unprotected sex, while reaffirming its commitment to promoting a healthy and responsible celebration of love.
The Director General of NACA, Gambo Aliyu, advised in a statement issued by the agency’s Head of Public Relations and Protocol, Toyin Aderibigbe, in Abuja on Sunday.
Mr Aliyu urged the general public to incorporate protection into intimate moments, undergo regular HIV testing, and engage in conversations about sexual health with their partners.
He said these measures contribute not only to personal health but also to the broader goal of building safer and healthier communities.
Mr Aliyu encouraged the public to prioritise their safety and well-being while expressing affection on Valentine’s Day “in light of the ongoing global health situation.”
The statememt read in part: “As people celebrate love on Valentine’s Day, we want everyone to enjoy it while prioritising their well-being.
“NACA encourages individuals to adopt a comprehensive approach to love, which includes open communication, mutual respect, and responsible choices.”
“Love is a powerful force, and by embracing responsible practices, we can ensure that it enriches our lives without compromising our health. NACA is dedicated to providing resources, information, and support to empower individuals in making informed choices.”
Mr Aliyu added that on Valentine’s Day, NACA will conduct comprehensive awareness campaigns to educate the public about the significance of both abstinence and safe sex practices, ensuring everyone stays well informed.
“The agency aims to create an environment where love is celebrated responsibly, fostering a community that is both supportive and health-conscious,” he noted.
Valentine’s Day, an annual commerorative day but not recognised as holiday in Nigeria, is celebrated by people around the world on 14 February.
NACA is an agency in Nigeria dedicated to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and improving the quality of life for individuals Living With HIV.
NACA works collaboratively with partners to develop and implement effective strategies for HIV prevention, care, and support.