Sexual Behavior, HIV/AIDS Epidemic and Sustainable Development in Nigeria: A Gender Perspective
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. With an estimated population size of over 160 million and HIV prevalence rate of 4.6 percent in 2008, over 5 million Nigerians are currently living with HIV. Using data from Nigeria’s national surveys such as Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (2008), Antenatal Sentinel Surveys (1991-2008), National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive surveys (2003-2007), HIV/AIDS Behavioural Surveillance Survey (2000) and HIV/STI Integrated Biological Behavioural Surveillance Survey (2008) this paper examines the driving forces of HIV transmission in Nigeria. Findings of the study revealed that men are more likely than women to have multiple sexual partners, practice unprotected sex and engage in transactional sex. In conclusion, it has been recommended that efforts need to be put together to strengthen Nigerian women economically and socially in order to reduce their level of vulnerability an susceptibility to HIV infection and there is a need to strengthen the national HIV/AIDS response mechanisms, most especially at local government level to include improvement of women economic power, promotion of women’s reproductive health rights and self esteem, prevention of mother to child transmission and total eradication of obnoxious cultural practices that made women to be at high risk of the virus.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Sexual Behaviour, Gender, Development, Nigeria.
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