NACA urges Nigerians to ascertain HIV status

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People should not test positive for HIV and receive treatment, only to die of TB, due to poor access to TB diagnosis among people living with HIV.

"The Region of the Americas has made important progress in the fight against AIDS and part of this is down to the fact that over three-quarters of people living with HIV have been tested and nearly 80 percent of them are now in treatment", said Dr. Marcos Espinal, Director of the PAHO/WHO Department of Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health. Several IAS officers, film personalities, Movie Artistes Association president Shivaji Raja and others visited the stalls and appreciated the programmes being organised by the positive network organisation for HIV positive people.

On December 1, the global society observes the World AIDS day.

Unfortunately, many barriers to HIV testing remain.

"On this World AIDS Day, UNAIDS is campaigning for people to know their HIV status and their viral load". "This day provides an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the cause of HIV prevention and treatment, draw attention on the global HIV epidemic, to raise awareness and remember those who have died, to show solidarity with the people living with it, and to celebrate survival and health", said an organiser.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has become the country's first PM to publicly take a HIV test after he released a video clip on his twitter account on Saturday, showing him receiving a Rapid HIV Test in a local clinic, reported local media.

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More recently, in 2018, the opioid crisis marked the first time in two decades where the number of new HIV diagnoses attributed to intravenous drug use increased.

"Many of those who are being left behind are those who are more affected by HIV including people who use drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men and prisoners".

Over 30 years ago, in 1986, World Health Organization first evaluated rapid diagnostic tests for HIV.

"Reducing new HIV infections is key to accelerating the response to HIV/AIDS in the Americas", said Dr. Espinal. This is particularly important given that approximately one third of new HIV infections occur among young people aged 15 to 24 years old.

- In sub-Saharan Africa young women are twice as likely to be living with HIV than men.

Lagos State commissioner for youth and social development, Agboola Dabiri, made the appeal during HIV/AIDS awareness talk in Agege, Lagos.

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