HIV/AIDS will become a thing of the past if Nigerians obey God – NACA boss, Idoko

As the Muslim faithful celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir all over the world, the Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof John Idoko, has said it is important to reflect on the significance of the celebration and its lesson as it relates to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care.
According to him, Qu’ran Chapter 37 highlights how, in a singular act of obedience to a divine command, Prophet Ibrahim took Ismail his son, which was begotten in his old age, to a location and prepared him for ritual of immolation as a piety to God.
“As he blindfolded him and was ready to slaughter, behold, a ministration came from the heavens. Allah conveyed good tidings stopping the killing and revealed that a ram had been approved by Him as a replacement for the sacrifice.

“God added that Ibrahim had passed the ultimate test of faith and would be amply rewarded.
“The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the HIV/AIDS multi sectorial response in Nigeria, will like to key into this festival, asking Nigerians to reflect on the lessons of sacrificing one’s most precious thing in the way of God’s command.
“If Nigerians obey the command of God, the HIV epidemic in Nigeria will become a thing of the past, as pre-marital sex, extra-marital affairs and casual sex among young people will not be happening as we learn and become educated regarding the dangers of contracting HIV/AIDS and other relates sexually transmitted infections (STI).”
Prof Idoko said reflecting on the love of almighty Allah, the level of HIV stigma is worrisome among those infected and affected.

“The love Allah showed to Prophet Ibrahim can be emulated by us. This will allow us show love and care to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
“If this is done, it will not only help encourage more Nigerians to get tested and get treated but it will also allow many more people to be open about their HIV status, thereby making the disease less frightening and dreaded”.
Continuing, Idoko noted that “as true servants of Allah, we are expected to protect our neighbours as much as we protect ourselves.
“Doing this as it relates to HIV/AIDS is to get tested for HIV virus, do all that is necessary to remain negative if tested negative, commence treatment therapy if tested positive, avoid mother-to-child transmission of HIV virus by encouraging all pregnant mothers to attend antenatal clinics and ensure they give birth in government-approved designated hospitals or with trained birth attendants”.

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