​The Lagos State Aids Control Agency has said that 9, 579 persons tested positive to HIV between the months of January and June.

LSACA’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Oluseyi Temowo, also stated that about 616, 318 persons in the state were counselled and tested within the same period.
Temowo disclosed this at a briefing being part of the activities put in place to mark the 2016 World AIDS Day on December 1.

He stated, “These statistics simply mean that there are many more people who are not aware that they have the virus, that is why knowing one’s status is very important.

“It is a common knowledge that an HIV-positive person can be symptom-free for 10 years and will continue to infect others, if not checked and treated. Being HIV-positive does not translate to death, with appropriate medications.”

Temowo said that the agency had mobilised HCT trucks and health personnels to hard-to-reach communities in the state to conduct free HIV counselling and testing.

This, he said, would enable every Lagos resident to be aware of his or her HIV status.

Temowo said that access to HCT would allow individuals to know their status and take appropriate steps to prevent HIV transmission to other persons.

He said that this would also stop the progression to AIDS through lifestyle modification and health seeking behaviour.

Temowo said Lagos was determined to achieve the global targets of eradicating of the disease by 2030.

“Achieving an AIDS-free generation requires collective efforts. This is why we are calling on government at all levels, individuals and organisations to join us in this quest to make Lagos State an HIV Free Zone.

“We implore residents to visit all government hospitals within their areas to access free HCT, while HCT trucks will move around to reach other areas for this purpose.

“We also advise people to ensure these various means of prevention – condom use, harm reduction, voluntary medical male circumcision, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, counselling and testing,” Temowo added.

Culled: Punch ng.