The Ogun Government, on Thursday expressed its commitment to ending the scourge of HIV epidemic by 2030, in line with the vision of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
Dr Kehinde Fatungase, the Executive Secretary, Ogun State Agency for the Control of AIDS, stated this at a news conference to commemorate the 2019 World AIDS Day, with the theme: “Communities Make the Difference”, in Abeokuta.
He noted that communities had major roles to play in the elimination of the epidemic in the state.
According to him, a community has to do with a social group of any size, whose members reside in specific localities and often have common cultural and historical heritage.
“The 2019 World AIDS day reminds us of an opportunity to harness the power of people and communities to control the spread of the HIV virus, as it remains the only way to ensure that ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 in Nigeria is possible,” he said.
Fatungase disclosed that the state had the highest prevalence in the South- West, at 1.6 percent saying that this was above the national prevalence rate.
He added that approximately 150,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses in Nigeria in 2017, with seven states, including Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Lagos, Oyo and Kano accounting for 50 percent of people living with HIV.
The executive secretary further said that for the state to achieve the viral suppression of HIV, it had adopted a strategy, described as 90-90-90 to control the HIV transmission in the state.
Analysing this, he said: “90 percent of all people living with HIV will ensure that they know their status, with 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy.
“The last 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy have sustained viral suppression”.
He maintained that efforts must be geared towards continually placing people and communities first through raising awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention.