HIV SPREADING MORE AMONG MANY MARRIED COUPLES UP NORTH SAYS FEMALE MEMBER OF BAUCHI ASSEMBLY

Maryam Begel, a member of the Bauchi state house of assmebly, on Wednesday said investigations have revealed that the HIV virus is spreading faster in matrimonial homes in most northern states.

Begel, representing Dass constituency in the assembly, said in Bauchi, it appeared precautionary measures were taken by partners only when meeting outside matrimonial homes, than when at home.

“We did an investigation and discovered that HIV virus is spreading faster in matrimonial homes than outside,” he said.

“This is because most males take precautionary measures when they sleep with outsiders but hardly take such measures when they meet with their wives.

“This is especially the case in settings where polygamy is allowed and you find a husband infecting some or all of his wives with the deadly virus.”

Begel, who is also the chairperson, committee on women affairs, Bauchi house of assembly, described the development as worrisome.

She promised to work towards reviving the bill on “compulsory HIV test before marriage”, initiated by a member in the 7th assembly, but was scuttled due to outside pressure.

Begel said passing the bill into law was long over-due to safeguard the health of people, especially women and children.

The bill, sponsored in 2012 by Ilyasu Zwall, had sought to make the screening of HIV by partners, compulsory, before marriage.

It recommended that any person that contravened the provision of the law be liable, upon conviction, to a fine of N160,000 or punishment for not less than five years, or both.

In case of corporate organisations, it recommended a fine of N500,000 or the sealing of the hospital or diagnostic centre for a specified period, or both.

When the bill was referred to the then house committee on health, nothing was heard about it again. (NAN)

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