The Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), Dr. (Mrs.) Monsurat Adeleke has called on the residents of Lagos State to access free HIV Testing Services to determine their status.
In a chat with the press at the HIV intervention programme at Oshodi Street, on Lagos State Island, Dr. (Mrs.) Adeleke said one of the cardinal projects of the current administration “Health and Environment”, as encapsulated in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, made the Agency continue HIV intervention outreaches to the different communities in Lagos State including the riverine areas.
According to her, the Agency is targeting as many people as possible at the different sites within Lagos Island Local Government Area, Amuwo-Odofin LGA and Ajeromi LGA as a means of increasing the uptake of HIV Testing Services , saying “It is important for one to know his/her status because HIV is no longer a death sentence provided patients adhere strictly to prescribed medication”.
She explained that in line with the agency’s vision of mitigating the effect on those infected and affected by the scourge, it has mounted an effective campaign for the reduction of HIV prevalence in Lagos State through ‘Behavioural Change Communication’.
Dr. Adeleke averred that in recognition of the global trend in HIV intervention, which is to eliminate new infections, discrimination and AIDS-related deaths, the agency has scaled-up community outreach campaigns on HIV Testing Services (HTS) for early detection and treatment in order to achieve the virus eradication in Lagos State by 2030 using the UN 90-90-90 initiative which means: 90% of the people must know their HIV status, 90% of those that know their status must have access to Anti-retroviral treatment, 90% on Antiretroviral treatment must have suppressed viral load of the virus and would not be able to infect others.
Access to HIV Testing Services, she maintained, would allow individuals to know their status early and take appropriate steps to prevent the transmission to other people. It also affords an individual the opportunity to take steps to stop the progression to AIDS through necessary lifestyle modifications and change in health-seeking behaviour.
Adeleke, however, advised residents to adjust their sex life by considering abstinence as the best option, while also imploring everyone to be faithful to their partners or use a condom correctly and consistently.