World AIDS day: 75% of carriers in Nigeria are unaware
By; Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna.
As the world observes World AIDS day, Executive Secretary, Kaduna State AIDS Control Agency (KASACA), Dr. Halliru Musa, has revealed that about 75 percent of Nigerians who are living with HIV/AIDS are not aware of their status.
He made the revelation Monday in Kaduna during a press conference to kick-start a week long activities to commemorate the global AIDS day and to raise awareness in the state, in collaboration with United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF), adding that the earlier the people know their status, the safer the country will be.
He emphasised that abstinence from sexual intercourse for unmarried members of the society remains the only sure way to avoid contracting the epidemic, noting that the use of condoms as alternative cannot guarantee safety.
To end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the sustainable development goals, he said will require accelerated investment, commitment and innovation in that direction.
According to him, if the world is to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, rapid progress must be made by 2020.
“We are witnessing the beginning of the end of AIDS epidemic which can be ended in every region, every country, in every location, in every population and every community. There are multiple reasons why there is hope and conviction about this goal.
“To change this dynamic, we must quicken the pace of action. We know that strengthening local services to reach key populations will lead to healthier and more resilient societies.
“The good news is that we now have what it takes to break this epidemic and keep it from rebounding to prevent substantially more new HIV infections and AIDS related deaths and to eliminate HIV related stigma,” he added.
First December every year is set aside internationally to commemorate and create awareness for the epidemic, as report has it that globally, 15 countries account for nearly 75 percent of all people living with HIV while Nigeria accounts for 9 percent of the global total. The theme for this year’s day is “Getting to zero: Ending AIDS by 2030”.