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Akwa Ibom battles prostitutes over HIV/AIDS


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Nigeria

Akwa Ibom battles prostitutes over HIV/AIDS

By Patrick Imoh

No fewer than 54 suspected prostitutes have been arrested in Akwa Ibom as the state’s government stepped-up its campaign on HIV/AIDS.

The government said that the arrest of the suspects, seen as “spread agents” of the disease, was part of its effort to lower the rising cases of persons diagnosed with the ailment in the state.

Mary Ayewa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, said that the women were nabbed during a raid of some “bad spots” in the state capital.

According to her, some of the suspected commercial sex workers were caught at the popular Maitama Wimpy Bar at Ewet Housing Estate. Others were picked up at Udoetuk Ubo Street, around Oron Road in the metropolis.

Ayewa explained that the clampdown was to “see if we can talk with them and agree on a better means of livelihood”.

“Actually, the government is worried about its recent rating by the National Action Committee on AIDS (NACA) as the state with the second highest prevalence rate of HIV in the country,’’ said. “We are, therefore, resolved and commitment to ridding the state of prostitution as part of the fight against the disease.’’

The permanent secretary wondered why young girls found pleasure in the “dehumanising vocation”.

“I was very surprised to see that some elderly women were involved in prostitution and I became confused, wondering who, then, should be role models to the young girls if the older ones are involved,’’ she said.

She, also, lamented that only a few women showed interest in the state government’s loan scheme, disbursed through the Ministry of Agriculture, Bureau of Cooperative Development and the Ministry of Women Affairs.

Ayewa said that the ministry was using churches, schools, local governments and other avenues to carry out the campaigns on HIV in the state and called on households to adhere to good moral standards.

She reminded women that their bodies were temples of God, and advised them not to undermine the HIV/AIDS campaign.

 


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Updated 7 Years ago
 

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