As of December, 2022, the United States Consul General, Will Stevens revealed that 29,936 are living with HIV/AIDS in Osun State.
The Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has affirmed his administration’s commitment to achieving an HIV-free society in the state.
Represented by Kola Adewusi, the Deputy Governor, Adeleke said a leap in treatment coverage by 12% in the first five months of active surge implementation was recorded in the state.
READ ALSO: Why I Will Never Stop Dancing – Governor Ademola Adeleke
“More people living with HIV can access the lifesaving antiretroviral drugs, prophylaxis, and other essential services they need to stay healthy and thrive.
“Through the ECEWS SPEED project, which is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we have been able to scale up HIV testing and treatment services across the state, with a focus on equity, strengthening existing systems, building capacity, and promoting stakeholder involvement at all levels.”
Stevens while making the figure public during the official launching of the Osun State HIV Treatment Surge organised by Excellence Community Education Welfare Scheme (ECEWS) on Thursday also called for intensified efforts in the fight against the virus.
He said for an HIV/AIDS-free state to be actualised, there was a need for collaborative efforts between the state government, medical practitioners and non-governmental organisations.
“We need a community of partnership. We need the government, police, civil societies and implementing partners. We need more hands in America to work together. It is going to take that combined effort to reach our most vulnerable citizens. Write about those people who have been cast aside, those people who are often ignored and downtrodden and work together to find them.
“Make them feel safe, and make them feel like they can come and get tested, get treatment and spread the message that HIV is not a death sentence.”
READ ALSO: Anti-Pregnancy Drugs May Increase Risk Of Breast Cancer – Study
The Consul General also harped on the need to conduct more HIV tests in the state to reach out to those who do not know their status yet.
“The purpose of the surge launch is to reach out to more people and ensure that carriers of the virus commence treatment immediately.”
While calling for a massive outreach to them, Stevens decried that over 13,000 persons living with HIV/AIDS in the state were yet to commence treatment.
Dr Okezie Onyedinachi, Head of Legal Service, ECWS Project Director of HIV treatment for Osun, Ekiti and Delta States in his address noted that only 16,000 have been put on treatment out of the over 29,000 persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Onyedinachi noted that all of them must be reached before 2025.
Trending video of the day:
Photo credit: Getty