Dr Uduak Daniel, South South Zonal Coordinator for the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDs, has urged stakeholders to partner Federal Government in funding the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
Daniel made the call on Wednesday in Asaba during the commemoration of the 2021 World AIDs Day with the theme, “End Inequalities, End AIDS through Sustainable Financing.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has set aside Dec. 1 of every year as World AIDS Day.
“The 2021 World AIDS Day has an apt theme and Nigeria has adopted a theme, ‘End Inequality, End AIDS through Sustainable Financing.’
“We are having issues with funding; we have not been able to finance and mobilise resources. It is not just about money but the response to HIV in the country.
“We are also using it as a way of advocating to all stakeholders and partners. We need our local resources to handle HIV response.
“It is time for us to stand in solidarity with those infected and those living with HIV/AIDS,” Daniel said.
The National Clinical Mentor Delta State, Prof. Augustine Omoigberale, said that in a bid to sustain the HIV/AIDS prevention/treatment programme in Nigeria, the federal government had created a mentorship programme.
“We are not taking over the HIV programme in the state but to strengthen and improve on it so that quality health services will be delivered to people living with HIV/AIDS so that all those eligible for treatment get treated.
“Those living with HIV/AIDS should take their medication regularly so that we can meet up with 95/95 target by 2030 for HIV in Nigeria,” he said.
Mr Christopher Ogbe, Coordinator, Network of People Living With HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), also urged people living with HIV/AIDS to adhere strictly to their treatment.
“If they are able to adhere to treatment there is assurance they can achieve viral suppression and that means they might not be able to transmit the virus to their partners,” he said.
The Executive Secretary, Delta State Agency for the Control of Aids (Delta SACA), Mr John Osayali, urged residents in Delta to go for HIV screening.
According to him, the virus is no longer a death sentence like it used to be.
“Science has improved on medication such that taking the treatment for six months will make the person U equals U, that is, Undetectable is equal to Untransmitable.
“What is needed is to get tested. However, if you are such that cannot go to government facilities to get tested due to status, Delta state has HIV self-testing kits.
“You can take the test in the comfort of your home and if it is positive you reach out to government facilities for a confirmation test and you commence treatment,” he said.
Also speaking, a medical practitioner with CARITAS, Dr Docas Magbadelor, called on the federal government to intensify sensitisation on prevention.
“We should continue to health-educate Nigerians on preventive measures in order not to get infected with HIV,” she said (NAN)