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Pharmacists focus on prevention, adherence to treatment to beat HIV/AIDS




AS part of activities to mark the 2015 World AIDS Day on Tuesday December 1, 2015, pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has promised to focus on the prevention, adherence and treatments and indeed health promotion.

PSN President, Ahmed Ibrahim Yakassai, in a statement said: “It is time to understand that getting to zero is a must. All hands must be on deck to achieve these targets and as pharmacists, we are ever ready to be fully involved. On this world AIDS Day, December 1st, 2015, let us join hands on the fast track to end AIDS.

“It is a day dedicated to raise awareness about Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the global spread of the HIV Virus, ensuring of universal treatment and indeed care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS.”

The theme for the world AIDS Day 2015 is “Getting to Zero” with the aim of achieving “Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, Zero AIDS-related deaths.

Yakasai said according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) Gap Report 2014, nine per cent of all people living with HIV live in Nigeria, however, HIV prevalence among adults is remarkably small (3.2 per cent) compared to South Africa (19.1 per cent) and Zambia (12.5 per cent).

“Again approximately 210,000 people died from AIDS – related illnesses, 220,000 new HIV infections in Nigeria in 2013 and since 2005 there has been no reduction in the number of annual deaths which shows fundamental problem of accessing the Antiretroviral treatment in the country.”

Yakasai said as pharmacists and society pharmacists will continue to participate in promoting the HIV/AIDS initiatives of the Federal Government, UNAIDS and World Health Organisation (WHO), facilitate collaboration between pharmacists, professional associations, health care professionals and development partners involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS as pharmacists can play great roles not only in adherence and treatment but in all aspects of public health.

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