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The organisers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have partnered a private firm, Hacey, to support and provide awareness for people on their HIV/AIDS status.
The partnership will also provide necessary details on how to manage the risk factors.
Hacey, a developmental health organisation that focuses on improving health and productivity of undeserved people especially women in Nigeria, are present at the Marathon Games Village.
At the Volleyball Court, Teslim Balogun Stadium Surulere, Hacey is also providing supports and free HIV/AIDS test for persons who intend to run for the marathon.
The Project Manager of Hacey, Mr Bamidele Oyewumi, told Newsmen that the programme targets to reach out to more than one third of the runners, providing them information about the HIV/AIDS and its management.
“For this year, we are in partnership with the organisers of the marathon to provide and implement a free HIV screening for the marathoners. One of our major goals is to ensure that one third of the marathoners know their status.
“The theme of this year’s race is `Run to End HIV’ because according to available statistics, HIV/AIDS is growing rapidly among young people because of their increasing sexual activities.
“While sexual activities is on the increase, the reproductive health education is not meeting up with the numbers; so we are using this means to sensitize the people on how to stop the trend, ” he said.
Oyewumi also said that the programme would target over 85 per cent of the runners providing them with first hand information on how to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.
“We want the larger percentage to get tested to know their status and arm them with information about everything they need to know about the deadly disease HIV/AIDS.
“People need to know how they can also contract HIV/AIDS apart from sexual activities, of which includes blood transfusion, blood screening, inappropriate handling of sharp objects among others.
“We also supply materials containing information about HIV/AIDS for information about all they need to know. Those with HIV/AIDS are sometimes more healthy if they follow their health regime properly.
“HIV/AIDS positive people can participate in the marathon and we even want to encourage them to run, because they are sometimes healthier than those that are negative because of their antiviral drugs that they are using,” he said.
Oyewumi then advised the people to to know their status and take responsibility of their risk factors to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
Naija247news reports that the 2024 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10. (www.naija247news.com).