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5 ways Nigerians are getting HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS transmission is still alarmingly high in Nigeria.

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Nigeria has one of the highest percentages of HIV/AIDS patients in the African continent and World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to enlighten people of how HIV/AIDS can be transmitted from an infected person.

Having anal sex is an easy way to contract HIV and in Nigeria, a large percentage of those having anal sex are men with other men.

The number of men who have sex with men who are living with HIV in Nigeria is on the increase.

As of 2007, 13.5% of men who have sex with men were living with HIV. By 2016, it had risen to 23%. Men who have sex with men are thought to account for 10% of all new HIV infections in the country.

Sharing needles or syringes, rinse water, or other equipment used to prepare drugs for injection with someone who has HIV.

About 9% of new HIV infections in Nigeria every year are among people who inject drugs. Women who inject drugs are 7 times more likely to be living with HIV than their male counterparts which are 14% compared to 3%.

Oral sex which consists of putting the mouth on the penis, vagina or anus seems to be a sexual act that is becoming popular.

Although the possibility of transmission of HIV during oral sex is extremely rare, it has been said to be theoretically possible if for example if an HIV-positive man ejaculates in his partner’s mouth during oral sex.

A report conducted in 2005 on college students have found that 49% did not know that a woman could contract HIV through oral sex with an infected man.

Although HIV awareness is on the increase it is still found that 18.6% of male sex workers and 24.5% of female sex workers in Nigeria are living with HIV. This is 8 times higher than the general population.

Female sex workers are found to have 44.8% getting tested while 17.5% of male sex workers are getting HIV tested. Only 54.7% of male sex workers reported using a condom with their last client compared to 92.9% of female sex workers but both reported low condom use with regular partners.

From mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. A United Nations report conducted in 2013 shows that 8 out of 10 pregnant women living with HIV do not have access to antiretroviral therapy for their own health.

Also, it showed that 8 out of 10 women or their infants did not receive antiretroviral medicines during breastfeeding to prevent transmission.

This was more common in the early years of HIV, but now the risk is extremely small because of rigorous testing the blood supplied and donated organs and tissues.

In 2006, the national coordinator of National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Dr. Folake Ayo had admitted that Infected blood causes more than 10 percent of HIV/AIDS infection in Nigeria.

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