Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), Dr Oluseyi Temowo said today that a total of 9, 579 people tested positive to HIV out of the 616, 318 people that attended the HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) awareness programme in the state from January to June, 2016.
Speaking at a press conference in Ikeja to mark the 2016 World AIDS Day Temowo disclosed that a total number of 599, 560 people were counselled and tested in 2015 out of which 15, 311 people were found to be positive.
He also announced that a total of 52, 803 people living with HIV/AIDS are currently on Antiretrovirals (ARVs).
According to the LSACA boss, there are still many people with the virus who are not aware that they have it.
“It is a common knowledge that an HIV positive person can be symptom free for 10 years and will continue to infect others, if not checked and treated,” he said, stressing the need for individuals to undergo tests to know their status.
Temowo said that the agency had mobilised its HCT trucks to all the nooks and crannies of the state to conduct free HIV counselling and testing.
This, he said, would allow individuals to know their status and take appropriate steps to prevent the transmission to other people. Nor only that the free counselling and testing would stop the progression to AIDS through lifestyle modification and health seeking behaviour.
“Achieving AIDS free generation requires collective efforts, this is why we are calling on government at all levels, individuals and We implore residents to visit all government hospitals within their areas to access free HCT, while HCT trucks will move around to reach other areas for this purpose.
“We also advise people to ensure these various means of prevention- condom use, harm reduction, voluntary medical male circumcision, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, counselling and testing.
“Being HIV positive does not translate to death with appropriate medications,” he said. he further said.
The World AIDS Day is observed worldwide every December 1st. The theme for this year’s edition is “Hands Up for #HIV Prevention’’.