The Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), Dr. (Mrs.) Monsurat Adeleke, has called for community participation in HIV response to prevent further spread of the virus as well as achieve UNAIDS global objective of zero new infections by the year 2030.
Dr. Adeleke made the call at the palace of the Monarch of Ikate Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, Kusenla III, in Ikate, Eti-Osa Local Government, after inspecting the new HIV Testing Services (HTS) Centre constructed by the Lagos State Government for quality and effective service delivery, accompanied by the Oba and Olori Sekinat Aramide.
She stated that it is now common knowledge that HIV positive persons can be symptom-free for a long time while infecting others if not checked and treated promptly.
According to her, “Lagosians can access the free HTS to know their status and being an HIV positive person does not translate to death when the appropriate medication is used. The HTS Centre would help the individual take appropriate steps to prevent transmission to other people as well as to attain viral suppression in order to live longer”.
While maintaining that individuals are aware of their positive HIV status have the opportunity to take appropriate steps to stop the progression to AIDS, Adeleke said necessary lifestyle modifications and change in health-seeking behaviour will help such persons.
On his part, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, enjoined all residents of Ikate Kingdom and the entire Eti-Osa Local Government Area to access the free HIV Testing Services (HTS) in order to know their status because statistics reveal that the Local Government has the highest HIV burden in Lagos State.
In his words “During the dissemination of the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) data aggregated by Local Government Areas last year and the launch of the State HIV Consortium by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, I was surprised to be informed that Eti-Osa Local Government has the highest HIV burden in Lagos State”.
Oba Elegushi averred that as HIV Ambassador, he has been mobilising community members and other residents of Eti-Osa Local Government communities to visit the free HTS Centre built by the Lagos State Government to determine their HIV status and commence treatment if necessary.