HIV/AIDS: Kwara agency takes screening to communities, markets
HIV/AIDS

By Sola Ogundipe

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to welcome the year 2020, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, has urged Nigerians to make knowing their HIV status part of their new year resolution.

In a statement to herald the New Year, the NACA Director-General, Dr Aliyu Gambo, said knowing one\s HIV status was the first step of the HIV treatment and prevention strategy.

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“Your HIV story begins with knowing your HIV status which is the safest gateway to HIV prevention, care, and treatment.

Gambo said in the last few years, NACA has taken bold steps to prevent new HIV infections through consistent provision of information on prevention, available and accessible HIV/AIDS services to Nigerians irrespective of where they reside in the country.

“We must build on the successes recorded so far at individual, family and community levels to prevent new HIV infections as we move into the last mile decade for the control and eradication of HIV. Knowing your HIV status allows you to make informed decisions, either way, the result turns out.”

Calling on Nigerians to know their status, The NACA boss said people still get infected with HIV every day, mostly as a result of indiscriminate sexual behaviour.

“As we join the rest of the world to push for the last mile, NACA, working with all stakeholders, will ensure 90 per cent of Nigerians who live with HIV know their status, are placed on life-saving treatment and achieve viral load suppression to keep them alive and healthy and prevent new infection of their partners and unborn babies.

“Knowing one’s HIV status is no longer difficult as Nigerians can now test themselves in a matter of minutes using self-test kits or call NACA at 6222 for guidance,’’ he remarked.

There are 1.9 million Nigerians living with HIV according to the 2018 Nigeria AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey, NAIIS.

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