Why HIV infection rate is high in Akwa Ibom – Agency

Akwa Ibom State Agency for the Control of AIDS (AKSACA) has blamed the high rate of HIV infection in the state on couples ‘insatiable’ crave for sex outside marriage.

According to the Programme manager, Dr. Nkereuwem Etok, a study conducted by the agency showed that married people accounted for 51.6 per cent of HIV prevalence while commercial sex workers constituted only four per cent.

Etok said this in Uyo during an interactive session with journalists yesterday

He attributed the high rate among couples in the state to include denial that HIV/AIDS exists and the fact that most of them engage in sex not minding the HIV status of their partners.

He added that many people were still tied to the culture of marrying widows without minding what killed the husband of the wife they were taking over as wife.

Etok said that this category of people were rich workers who could afford to travel for businesses, seminars and workshops within and outside the country, thus exposing themselves to strange bed fellows whose status they did not care to know.

He called on the people of the state to make themselves available for testing which is carried out free in designated places across the 31 local government areas of the state.

He stated, “We have areas of high prevalence that we need to address now. Before we analysed the statistics, we were sure that the most-at- risk population would be the commercial sex workers.

“We thought that this group would be the most affected but our data surprisingly showed that married men and women were the highest HIV-infected persons with 51.6 per cent.

“The commercial sex workers accounted for only four per cent while those who contacted HIV through casual sex were about 30 per cent.”

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