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Should Nigeria emphasize ‘Abstinence’ or the ‘Use of protection’ to fight the scourge of HIV-AIDS?



According to a 2003 report more than 3 million Nigerians are living with the HIV virus that causes AIDS. That report was published 3 years ago. A lot of people believe that the number has since increased, as the level of sexual promiscuity among Nigerian youths, fueled by economic hardship, is on the increase. In the war against HIV-AIDS there are two schools of thought: those who believe that the country should emphasize abstinence programs, which means that youths should be encouraged to stay away from sex until they get married. Another school of thought believes that preaching abstinence only is unrealistic in a society like Nigeria. Rather campaigns should emphasize 'safe sex' (use of protections like condoms) since many young people are already having sex and many more are joining the band-wagon. The question this month is: Should Nigeria emphasize ‘Abstinence’ or the ‘Use of protection’ to fight the scourge of HIV-AIDS?


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I think Nigeria as a community, where illiteracy, ignorance, ITK (I too know) by parents, and the economy are the main issues affecting this topic "SEX" or "ABSTINENCE".  We 'all know that stopping youths from having sex is out of the point..highly impossible , so why bother about abstinence when protection can be secured before sex.  To add to everything, parents should talk about sex education to their kids, so that their kids would be able to relay any problem or questions they got.  Also the society (Economy) ain't helping either. Youths are struggling to make ends meet to themeelves and sometimes to support their parents too.  Sex education should be introduced in schools and make protections known in all areas.  At least these will help mode the up coming youths since the older once are goners..lol.  But seriously, the government should be more involved and provide facilities, jobs and recreational centres and youth clubs to youths. Finally, abstinence wouldn't help, educating youths, parent and the general public about sex would help and along side bring about protection into it.

Chukwudi Moses (London, UK)


Nigerians should look for the protection to fight the scourge. During this research youth should abstain from sex and those who cannot do without it should prevent it by using condom.

Adisa Kifayat Olaide ( Lagos, Nigeria )

Nigeria should forget every thing about abstinence and lay more emphasis on protection method because we youth of nowadays love sex. I mean almost every youth will say that unless the timid ones. Even if you do not want to have sex, I think every one has the right to know various methods of protection in case it happens.

Fadesire (Illinous  U S A.)

I think emphases should be led on abstinence not protection because condom is not 100 percent safe.

Shirley (Owerri, Imo State)

Why should we pretend when we know the truth? The truth is that abstinence is the best solution, but safe sex is more practical. Therefore, we should encourage abstinence especially amongst primary and secondary school pupils, but it's only practical to encourage safe sex among university students and young adults. I hope we understand that condom only reduces the chances of contracting HIV, it's not a protection. Please inform everybody that 'safe sex' does not mean 'use of condoms'.

Patrick Ihie (South Africa)

I'm of the opinion that safe sex is the best way out of this mess. The world has gone so nuclear that no one can hardly stay out of sex even when it is being preached and condemned in our various denominations. You still find out that young men and ladies do go back home and practice it 'cos it's something that is done behind a closed door; the result will be either unwanted pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, HIV, or venereal diseases that is been contacted during sex. I suggest that training for safe sex and using protection should be carried out in primary, secondary and high institutions. You may wonder why I mentioned primary schools? The reason is that those in primary schools have also started having sex.

Ezinwanyi Iheonunekwu  (Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria)

Talking about  Abstinence, it will be very difficult telling someone to totally abstain from sex what I think should be emphasized on is the use of protection like Condoms and   talking about protection you should also emphasize on the use if durable products to be used and how it should be used.

Mercy Owole Abah (Abuja, Nigeria)

I think they should emphasize both. Young people who haven't started having sex should be encouraged to practice abstinence; those who have, should be encouraged to use protection.


Patience (Port Harcourt)

I think those who want youths to practice abstinence only are not serious. it's hypocrisy. Everyone is doing 'it' in Nigeria, so why a we pretending?

Ken (PH, Nigeria)

Abstinence programs worked wonders in Uganda; there where abstinence beauty contests. girls who married as virgins were rewarded. Uganda was able to reduce its HIV rate. Why shouldn't it work in Nigeria? Sex b4e marriage is immoral, sex outside marriage is immoral. Even though some people are doing it.. does not make it right. So govt. at all times must preach the right message to young people and not what they want to hear.

Kate (Texas USA)

A man ask me to be his girlfriend last year. We broke up cos he wanted to sex me without condom, I say no, he left me. I know some people who sex without condom and they have many friends who sex them cos the boys will leave them if they say no. So my point is many girls don't want to have sex, the boys force them to sex to look like big guys so the girls have no choice. their parents don't have money, the boys help them sometimes.

Don't list my name ( Lagos, Nigeria)

I think it's more realistic to make condoms either cheap or free like in most developed economies. Sex is a call of nature like hunger that's what made HIV spread very successful. It touched on a very basic human urge difficult to undermine. You simply cannot curb sex urge among young people in a depriving society as Nigeria.  Those who can do without it should be encouraged, but the popular majority who are into it, use protection.

Amuta (Abuja, Nigeria)

Those who preach abstinence, do they practice abstinence?...are we really talking about Nigerian politicians and upper class? Come to Unilag on weekends. ye-ye people! they are destroying these little girls, and talking nonsense on TV. I am definitely for free condoms in campus hostels. I can't even couch for my own girlfriend.

Pete (Lagos)

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