The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) had called on Nigerians to celebrate the yuletide season responsibly.
In a statement on Wednesday by the agency, NACA encouraged all Nigerians to avoid risky behaviours that may contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.
According to the Director General of NACA, Dr Sani Aliyu, the general public should ensure rules and standards for good behaviour are not relaxed because of the festive seasons.
“We must set limits and monitor abuses that may result into any form of negative activity that may expose us to HIV infection. As we celebrate, let us be role models that will spread information on HIV and resolve to show love to persons infected and affected by HIV,” he urged.
He advised Nigerians to get free HIV test during this Christmas and New Year holiday periods in any government hospital within their locality, saying people should endeavour to know their status today.
“Christmas is that season of joy where the birth of Christ is celebrated around the world. This period, we demonstrate love by spending quality time together with loved ones and exchange variety of gift items among ourselves.
“However, people engage in indiscriminate sexual and other negatives activities during this festive period which can lead to uninformed decision-making. NACA is appealing to the general public that, in sharing gifts among our loved ones, we should not share HIV through risky sexual behaviours,” he said.
He noted that NACA in partnership with other stakeholders have taken bold steps to prevent new infection by consistently providing information, education, and making available HIV/AIDS related services to Nigerians irrespective of where they reside in the country.
“We must build on the successes recorded, as individuals, families and communities by ensuring deliberate efforts are put-in to avert new infection during every festive season and make efforts to know our HIV status, which remains the gateway to HIV prevention, care, support and treatment,” he added.