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Ban on condoms in Nigeria leave health providers worried

Residents in southeast Nigeria will no longer be able to practice safe sex as the government recently made it illegal to purchase condoms and use any other form of contraception, IRIN reports.

Many are wary of the new ban - more than 3 million people, or 3.9 percent of Nigeria's adult population, are infected with HIV/AIDS, and the rate is expected to rise by 300,000 people each year, according to a UN programme (UNAIDS).

Along with banning all forms of contraception, the commissioner also banned abortions and said that any medical office that is found to be performing them may lose its license.

“The state government will withdraw the license of any medical personnel who flouts this directive and any hospital will be closed down," commissioner Ilika told the news source.

Humanitarians and sociologists disagree with this new plan as they feel the lack of protection could cause further human disasters through an increase in HIV cases.

“I don’t think it's the right step," public affairs analyst Alphonsus Ofodile said. "Even if you ban the use of condoms, people will still have sex. So why would a responsible government want to discourage safe sex?”

As the debate continues, it was not clear how the state would respond to shops or pharmacies caught selling contraceptives.
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