The Saint Valentine’s Day, usually celebrated on every 14 February has always been the lookout for of most young ‘lovers’, to express their ‘love’ to the fullest, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) have warned on the dangers of embarking on illicit and unprotected sexual intercourse during the season, which they said could bring about deadly sexually transmitted diseases, which are antibiotic resistant.
It will be recalled that the WHO has been on the campaign against antibiotics resistant infections since last, and in fact issued a warning about ‘super gonorrhoea’ last July. It said millions of lives were at risk.
This formed the basis of the Valentine’s Day sex caution by Dr Tina Joshi, a lecturer in molecular microbiology at Plymouth University, reiterating the dangers of emerging threat of antibiotic resistance to all. She noted that unnecessarily dishing out the drugs is making bugs that could once be easily cured, such as gonorrhoea, become untreatable.
Dr Joshi whose statement was not against the commemoration of the day, however noted that antibiotic resistance, is considered on par with terrorism and global warming, could kill more people than cancer in the next 30 years, she warned.
Her words: “Without antibiotics, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, which are caused by bacteria, wouldn’t be treatable. Even worse, STIs often go undiagnosed meaning they don’t get treated until it’s too late”.
The WHO has previously warned if nothing is done the world was headed for a ‘post-antibiotic’ era.It claimed common infections, such as chlamydia, will become killers without immediate answers to the growing crisis. Figures estimated that superbugs will kill ten million people each year by 2050, with patients succumbing to once harmless bugs.
Around 700,000 people already die yearly due to drug-resistant infections including tuberculosis (TB), HIV and malaria across the world.
In the same vein, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has warned young Nigerians to exercise caution and to “love wisely’’ as they prepare to celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14.
The NACA DG Sani Aliyu, gave the warning via a statement issued by the Head, Public Relations and Protocol of the agency, Toyin Aderibigbe, in Abuja on Monday.
According to him, since the valentine period is known as a time for young people to express love for one another, they should express such love cautiously, within the context of caring deeply for their loved ones.
According to his statement to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN): “As members of the wider society, your health and productivity is vital to the future of our country.I urge you also to take advantage of the spirit of love and togetherness that the Valentine’s Day signifies to know your HIV status.’’
He said that knowing one’s HIV status was necessary because of the present high prevalence rate of HIV infection among young persons aged between 15 and 24 in Nigeria.
“Condoms prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), HIV and unwanted pregnancies.The practice of having multiple sexual partners increases HIV vulnerability among the youth population alongside the very low HIV testing rates”, he said.