October 26, 2023.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), has urged Nigerians to demand for HIV services in the country.
The director-general of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, stated this at a workshop organised by the agency, for social media influencers, bloggers and journalists on HIV/AIDS, in Abuja.
Aliyu stated that though HIV has no cure at the moment, there is the need for people living with the virus to know that it can be successfully managed, hence the need for them to demand for the services.
“People should understand that if you have HIV today, and you walk into our facilities demanding for HIV service, you’re doing not only good to yourself but you’re doing good to all of us because you’re helping us to control HIV without us putting money to go after you to get you to the facility and to get you treated.
This is important because as we approach 2030 and we identify close to 100 percent of those that have the virus among us, the few 3-4 percent may not be able to get by using our conventional way where we go community after community to get people.
We can only get that 3-4 percent, if people develop the culture of demanding for the service. So, we want people to demand for HIV services and to know about the HIV status. If they are positive, we want to see them demanding for treatment services,” the DG said.
NACA’s deputy director, public relations and protocol division, Mrs Toyin Aderibigbe, highlighted the role of digital media in shaping public opinion, adding that the workshop was aimed at equipping media advocates with adequate knowledge and understanding of the disease and its prevention, as well as to solicit their support in ending AIDS by the year 2030.
“We all know that social media has become an influential platform for shaping public opinion; it can play a crucial role in reducing the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus and combating stigma and discrimination by being equipped with adequate knowledge and understanding to help reduce the spread of fake news, misinformation and/or misconception on HIV/AIDS and other related diseases,” she said.
On his part, NACA’s Daniel Ndukwe, called on Nigerians to take advantage of new and emerging approaches to controlling and preventing HIV, amongst which are HIV self-test and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). (www.naija247news.com).