No fewer than 23,000 persons are currently undergoing treatment for HIV/AIDS in the Kogi with Women and Children having greater percentage, the State Government said.
The Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Haruna Audu disclosed this at a media parley in Lokoja on Tuesday in commemoration of the World HIV/AIDS Day.
World HIV/AIDS which is observed on the 1st December annually, has this year theme tagged’ Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility’.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, BabaMaaji Abubakar Danlami, the commissioner said Kogi State HIV prevalence stands at 0.9%.
According to him, the reduction in the State prevalence rate from 1.2% in 2012 to 0.9 was achieved through the commitment by critical stakeholders in the state in the fight against the HIV scourge.
“What this report translates into is that the future will be blink if we do not double our present efforts to curtail the disease progression among these groups because women are homemakers, as youths are leaders of tomorrow.
“With the current numbers of treatment, it means we still have close to 24,000 persons in our midst that are infected by the virus going by NAIIS report and 2006 population growth progression estimates that needs to be tested, which implies more work for the state and her partners” Audi added.
While reiterating that the current administration is committed towards achieving zero prevalence rate for HIV in the State, Audu added that the government will provide conducive environment to reduce the situations and circumstances that put people at risk of contracting the virus.
Also speaking at the event, the Kogi State Coordinator Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, (CISHAN) Mrs Christy Oluwole Abayomi lamented that, as at December 2020, Nigeria has been unable to achieve the UNAIDS 2020 target of diagnosing 90 percent of all the people living with HIV, placing 90 percent of those diagnosed on lifesaving Antiretroviral Therapy, (ART), and achieving viral suppression for 90 percent of those on treatment.
“To enable us achieve 95-95-95 vision so that we are not left behind in ending the HIV pandemic by the year 2030, there is need for joint responsibilities in fighting HIV”.
She called on the State Government to commit reasonable percentage of the state resources to facilitate access to free HIV counselling and testing, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, (PMTCT), access to treatment and retention to achieve undetectable viral suppression translating to eliminating the transmission of HIV.
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