Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia
National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) yesteray raised the alarm that about 20,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Nasarawa State are at large.
NACA Director General, Gambo Gumei Aliyu, raised the alarm when commissioning the North-central Zonal Office of NACA in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.
According to him, “About 40,000 people are living with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nasarawa State, out of which about 20,000 of the victims are at large. These 20,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the state that are at large are the ones that we are looking for.”
He, however, stated that NACA has done very well in the last 15 years by reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS prevalence to 1.4 from 4.4 per cent in the country.
He said: “In the last 15 years, we were talking of 3.5 million people living with the epidemic in Nigeria. But today we are talking of about 1.9 people with the disease, or less across the country.
“NACA is in Nasarawa State to push the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic to the last mile. That is to say that everyone is tested to know their status so that those that are HIV/AIDS positive are treated, while those who tested negative remain negative for the rest of their lives.”
Aliyu noted that there’s no way to end HIV/AIDS epidemic without people living with it knowing their status, which according to him “is the beginning of controlling HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.”
In his vote of thanks, NACA North-central Zonal Coordinator, Lawrence Kwaghga, thanked the government of Nasarawa State for supporting the take off of the NACA zonal office in the state, even as he promised to collaborate with the AIDS control agencies in the North-central Zone to curtail the epidemic menace ravaging the society.