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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

24,000 HIV cases: Stakeholders declare emergency

By Saheed Ibrahim

Stakeholders have attributed the scourge of HIV/AIDS in Ondo state to COVID-19 pandemic, saying it has distracted the government from giving the right attention to other prevailing diseases.
They therefore called on the government and the Ondo State Action Committee on AIDS (ODSACA) to initiate aggressive sensitisation of the public, especially those in the rural area, on measures to curtail the spread of the disease.
The Hope, quoting ODSACA, recently reported that about 24,000 people are living with the disease in Ondo state, with only about 13,000 receiving treatment.
Reacting, the Team Lead Healthdrive Ondo State, Mr Orenolu Olumide attributed the prevalence of HIV/AIDs in the state to reduced sensitisation and campaigns against the virus as against what was obtained some years back.
“It may be actually due to the effect that some success was recorded in reducing the scourge. So the intensity, the need to take out those words, those campaigns to the community and ordinary people has actually reduced.
“But now, what we are experiencing now that there is an increasing surge that if not well taken care of can actually lead to the endemic and pandemic case of HIV and AIDS”, he said.
Orenolu suggested that “those messages that we need to pass out is still the same message of ABC -abstinence, be faithful and the use of condom”, adding that these measures would also help to prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.
Speaking on the development, the Deputy Coordinator, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Ondo state Network, Mr Ibukunoluwa Akinlade stated that the incurable nature of HIV/AIDS had made it a point of concern since its discovery in Nigeria.
He noted that attention had been shifted from the disease to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged every country in the world.
In his contribution, the Health Officer, Life and Peace Development Organisation, Oladimeji Ayodeji Amos described the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Ondo state as health emergency.
“The truth is there is an emergency already because the chain is long. For example the boyfriends of the females among those who are infected will still have other girls they are sexually active with and the chain continues like that.

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