Michael Olugbode, in Maiduguri and James Sowole in Akure
No fewer than 83, 771 cases of the the Human Immunodeficiency Virus HIV infections were recorded in Ondo and Borno States between 2017 and 2017 officials of the two states have disclosed, a pointer that the virus was still very active and spreading in society despite campaigns to check it.
While Ondo State which took stock toll December 2016 discovered that 81,871 people were infected Borno State discovered that in 2017, over 1,900 persons were afflicted with HIV in the state.
Borno State in the year 2017, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia disclosed on Friday.
Briefing the Press as one of the activities marking the 2017 World AIDS Day in the state, Borno State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia disclosed on Friday that the state government had scaled up HIV services in 237 health facilities in wards across the state to achieve UNAIDS global strategy of 90:90:90 by 2030, that is “90% of population should be tested, 90% positives should be placed on therapy and 90% of those on drugs should have viral load suppressed.”
He said among the planned activities of the ministry to combat HIV/AIDS was “intensification of sensitisation and awareness creation to the public on the HIV issues.”
He said though HIVservices was a donor-driven programme, the state “will implement the five-year state strategic plan and the four year sustainability roadmap developed this year.”
He said 42 HIV Testing sites had been established, including 15 at internally displaced persons camps.
He also disclosed that 12 anti-retroviral therapy sites had been established in the state, as well as 52 prevention of mother to child transmission sites.
He said a total of 263,404 persons made themselves available for HIV test with 1,902 new infections discovered in 2017, revealing that 11,303 persons are currently receiving anti-retro viral therapy in the state.
Mshelia said since 2011 to date 1,402,227 cumulative HIV testing and counseling services were held in the state.
This figure Ondo State statistics was disclosed in Akure yesterday by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hon Ifedayo Abegunde in his speech at a ceremony to mark the 2017 World Aids Day in the state.
According to Abegunde, who is the Chairman of the Ondo State Action Committee of Aids (ODSACA), 5,048 people were newly infected.
The SSG also disclosed that 8,048 persons were on treatment while 4,701 women were positive of the disease out of which 748 were on antiretroviral therapy in the year under review.
Abegunde said the administration in the state would not relent in its effort to ensuring that the disease was eradicated in the state.
The SSG also declared the state had “HIV zero-prevalence of 1.6 per cent.” adding that the government put the issue of the disease at the top of its political and practical agenda.
In his keynote address, at the occasion, the state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, who declared the event open said the state government had been up and doing to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of the disease and also preventing new infections within the state.
The governor noted that the state government had been doing its best to protect the people living with HIV from being stigmatised.
“Awareness and mobilisation is going to be scaled up in the state. In addition, an investment in testing, treatment and elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV will slow down the spread of HIV infection and lead to early treatment which is the key to viral suppression and long term survival.
“This treatment will also lead to reduced death and new infections among children. Also the plight of the People Living with HIV is a major concern of this administration”, Akeredolu stated.
The Governor advised people to avoid multiple sex partners, non-use of condom, saying that collective fight against HIV would reduce the prevalence of the disease .