By Frank Ulom
The Executive Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Sen. Ben Ayade says he married his wife as a virgin which is the pride of Africans who value the virtues of virginity and chastity.
Ayade who publicly made the statement in Calabar on Thursday while delivering a lecture on the HIV/AIDS scourge to mark the 2016 World AIDS Day, stated that the greatest gift any woman can possibly hand to her husband is to present her body as a virgin to him.
“I should say to the teenagers here today that when somebody leads you to the altar, at the end of that day he should be glad to say, I married my wife a virgin,” Ayade said.
The governor stated that young people easily give in to sex for financial inducement, peer pressure and the influence of international movies and believe that with the use of a condom, they are secure from getting infected with HIV which in most cases is not full-proof protection against the pandemic disease.
“When people use condom, they think they are safe which is the major cause of infection because evidence abounds that the use of a condom does not provide total protection against HIV/AIDS since the condom itself has small holes that are 0.05 wider than microbes which makes HIV virus to pass successfully,” he added.
He said the best protection against infection is total abstinence and testing before marriage by couple and staying faithful to each other because the virus has the capacity to live in the body of an infected person for 25 years in some cases before the viral load overwhelms the body.
“During such a time, a person with the virus he becomes an effective carrier of the disease which gives him/her the chance to infect others during unprotected sex,” he said.
Dr Rose Nyambi, the Director General of the State Action Committee Against AIDS, SACA, also gave her remark saying, that the state has 164,267 persons, 108,000 females and 61,827 males living positively with the virus.
“It may interest you to know that SACA has been housing the Network of People Living with HIV. We have a directory of 80 support groups of people Living with the virus with a total of 164,267 comprising of 103,000 females and 61,827 males and out of this number, 25,907 are on ART,” she said.
She called for the scaling up of more HIV counseling and testing services by getting everyone in the state to know their HIV status if the state must achieve the global vision of ensuring that 90% of people know their status so that those who test positive are placed on treatment.
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