Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Correspondent examines efforts to curb spread of AIDS

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HIV/AIDS is a scourge the world is battling with, and as stakeholders fight to reduce it’s spread UNAIDS says it is seeking to identify 95 per cent of infected persons.

Health professionals during a conversation with Orange FM’s Flora Iweanya emphasized the imperatives of testing in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Nigeria is currently lagging in the mission to identify 95 percent of infected persons as reflected in the 2018 HIV/ AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey.

In ondo state the survey also showed that no fewer than 28,000 persons are living with the dreadful virus while only 11,684 persons are on treatment and 1744 new infections have been recorded this year.

In April 2016, Nigeria adopted the testing and treatment policies in line with WHO latest treatment guidelines launched by President Muhammadu Buhari to accelerate the plan to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Experts say people should engage in self-testing for HIV even in the midst of COVID-19.

Prior to the lockdown, there had been challenges with addressing access to HIV testing and identifying the unreached HIV positive population.

According to a medical practitioner Dr. Ayodele Adebayo HIV self-testing is a strategy that contributes to the achievement of the UNAIDS global target by reaching first-time testers as well as identifying the partners of HIV positive people.

Also a stakeholder, Tolu Ogele said all Nigerians should know there HIV status.

The community mobilizations Director of ODSACA, Mrs Funmilade Akinrelere called for increased collaboration among stakeholders to check the spread of the scourge and described persons living with HIV as indispensable in the HIV response

Some residents expressed fear as the reason they do not go for HIV testing.

The 2020 target was only but a roadmap to ending the scourge of HIV/AIDS by 2030 but the most important thing is attitudinal change.