More men die of AIDS in Nigeria – UN Director

AIDS HIV

The Lagos Director, United Nations Information Centre, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, has disclosed that more men than women die of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the country, in spite of the fact that women are more affected by HIV.

Kayanja said this on Wednesday at the United Nations International Women’s Day celebration organised by a coalition of non-governmental organisations in Lagos.

While attributing the under-representation of women in governance to a huge campaign finance and traditional perception of women, he said economic and gender-based violence also increased the risk of young women contracting HIV.

He said, “In Nigeria today, women represent 58 per cent of all the people living with HIV. The power inequalities that underline gender-based violence, including physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence, expose young women to HIV.

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“I hasten to add that even though women are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic, more men than women die of AIDS every year in Nigeria.

“Of particular concern to the UN is the political will to implement the Nigeria National Gender Policy, which commits to affirmative action and requires that women fill 35 per cent of appointed positions.

“Regrettably, we are far from the target presently. For instance, in the current National Assembly, women representation is at its lowest with only 5.6 per cent of the members of the House of Representatives and 6.5 per cent of the senators being women.”

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