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Why HIV testing programmes should be scaled up – HACEY


The government and private sector have been urged to scale up HIV testing programmes by making provision for self-testing, community-based testing services, and multi-disease testing targeted at helping people especially young people to know their HIV status as this will go along way in harnessing demographic dividend and also curb the effects of HIV/AIDS that is slowly killing young people in Nigeria.

This call was made last week Saturday by HACEY Health Initiative Director, Gender Development Program, Ms Rhoda Robinson during Community reach out sessions at Kairo Market Oshodi and NYSC camp Lagos to commemorate he United Nation’s World AIDS Day with the support of Access Bank to educate and offer HIV Testing and Counselling services in communities.

According to Ms Robinson, “the problem of HIV continues to exist, it is extremely important to provide HIV Testing and Counselling alongside with information and education on prevention and management because according to UNAIDS, Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world, while HIV prevalence among adults is remarkably small (2.9%) compared to other sub-Saharan African countries such as South Africa (18.9%) and Zambia (12.4%), the size of Nigeria’s population means 3.2 million people were living with HIV in 2016.”

Speaking further, she noted that the collaboration between the three organizations HACEY, NYSC and Access Bank is very innovative and will go a long way to ensure that the effect of HIV is abridged as the country is experiencing an unprecedented rise in the mortality rate caused by the disease as well as rise in the number of new cases.

She explained that the best way to prevent new cases of HIV is to ensure everyone gets tested which further emphasizes on the 2018 theme; “Know Your Status” and to ensure that those tested positive have access to treatment.

No fewer than 700 people were tested while all positive cases were immediately referred for confirmatory tests and treatment.

Corp members and camp officials in camp were also reached with information and free HIV Testing and counselling in Iyana Ipaja, Lagos State through a film show on a movie titled “Inside Story” and free testing. About 2,690 young people were engaged during the programme. The movie enlightened young people on the potential risks, perceived vulnerability to HIV, myths surrounding the spread of HIV and description of the dynamics of the virus in the human body.”

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