No fewer than 1.9million Nigerians are living with HIV/AIDs. This is according to a Paediatric Nurse and HIV Counselor, Mrs Roseline Solarin. Citing UNAIDS and National Agency for the Control of AIDS statistics, Mrs Solarin said the rise in HIV/AIDS cases was common among people within the ages of 15 and 49, adding that Nigeria remained the highest HIV/AIDS endemic country in the world.
The Chief Nursing Officer who doubles as Chairperson of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwifery Association of Nigeria (NANNM), Ogun State chapter, spoke in Sagamu at the launch and public presentation of a book titled ‘Sex Education Made Easy,’ a manual to help parents teach sex education with confidence, written by a young Medical Doctor, Opeyemi Adeyemi.
She called on the youths to abstain from sex until they were married, and where they could not help it, they should put safety first and wear protective gear – condoms, in order to protect their lives, health, and future. Mrs. Solarin blamed the advent of the internet and social media for abysmal level of moral decadence in the society but also urged parents to take up their responsibilities by inculcating the right values into their children through sex education and moral instructions. “We parents are the first teachers to our children. We should not shy away from our responsibility, especially when it comes to sex education. If we refuse to teach them, other people will teach them in the wrong way”, she said.
“For children who are already having sex, there’s really nothing to hide again, you just have to go and tell them about what they have to know about a contraceptive, unwanted pregnancy. Tell them about the bright future you have for them and why you want them to stay on the right path”, she added.
Mrs Solarin identified stigmatization and homosexual practice as factors that have forced many people living HIV/AIDS to go underground thus, making it difficult for them to seek treatment, yet kept spreading the dreadful disease among the unsuspecting and adventurous youth population. She said the book would equip parents with some needed skills to teach their wards sexual education a beneficial way.
“Sex education goes beyond sex, it’s about different topics like body image, body positivity and all of that”. UNICEF has come out with statistics, which indicated that “one in three girls and one in six boys are being molested before the age of 18 – that is a big number”, she said.