Achieving Health Nigeria Initiative (AHNI), an NGO, on Thursday called for more public awareness against HIV and stigmatisation of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) patients.
Dr Ola Opeoluwa, Asst. Technical Officer, Prevention, Care and Treatment for AHNI, made the call during a sensitisation workshop as part of activities marking 2016 World’s AIDS Day in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo.
“This programme will help to create awareness that would help prevention of HIV and AIDS in our society,” he said.
Opeoluwa said that there was need for governments and relevant agencies to intensify awareness on the disease.
“Many people do not still have information about HIV and AIDS at the moment and this has to be done because some of our adolescents are migrating into the youthful and risky age group.
“There is need to keep the awareness very high so as to prevent the spread of HIV virus,” he said.
Opeoluwa said the organisation had been supporting the various agencies attending to cases of AIDS/HIV and will continue to do so.
“We will particularly employ a multi-faceted approach in terms of creating awareness, medication and other logistics.
“We shall take a bold step to prevent the disease from spreading, treating victims and creating anti-stigmatisation awareness,’’ he said.
According to him, many people engaged in high act of immorality, adding that the organisation will intensify campaign on the disease.
“All kinds of people stand at a disadvantage on the question of HIV and AIDS; so, what we do is we sensitise, we distribute condoms, HIV testing and counselling is free and we teach them how to use it and use it properly,” he said.
Opeoluwa called for attitudinal change towards the disease and advised the public to stop discrimination against those living with the disease in order to reduce its spread.
“The organisation would also send positive message to young, sexually active people that using condoms consistently was necessary in averting contacting the disease,” he said.
He enjoined all stakeholders to galvanise efforts towards ensuring that the disease is eradicated and advised residents to go for HIV/AIDS test.