AS states commit to greater awareness creation among citizens and researches improving globally, a complete eradication of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria could be feasible by the year 2020, Kwara State Commissioner for Health, Kayode Issa, has said. Issa said at the commissioning of two HIV counselling and testing mobile tents on Monday in Ilorin that the state government, with its robust health system, has remained proactive against the deadly virus. The kits were provided by the non-governmental Kids and Teens Resource Centre, which now counsels and tests volunteers for the virus. According to Issa, “in Kwara State, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has health sector as one of his cardinal policies.
“His government had since inception committed much money into the issue of HIV/AIDS. We believe that by the year 2020, the virus can be eradicated or reduced to the barest minimum in this part of the world. “Already, the statistics needed on the number of newlyinfested persons have been compiled while the drugs required have been provided. “We will spread the news to the rural areas across the state to enhance more development on the eradication of the deadly virus and attain the zero discrimination target in line with the global theme for the year.” Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of Kids and Teens Resource Centre, Falana Martin-Mary, described HIV/AIDS as a major developmental challenge that has dealt a dirty blow to the world, with gross negative impact on the people.
“The unfortunate part of it is that young people are the most hit with the pandemic, and if adequate care is not taken now, the future may be bleak,” he noted. “HIV counselling and testing is the most effective impact mitigation gateway. “People will only get tested and treated for HIV if they know their HIV status will be kept private. Discussing, diagnosing and treating HIV and AIDS is a sensitive, private issue between a client and his or her provider. This privacy is especially important, as any breach of privacy may result in stigmatisation or discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS.”
According to him, results of the tests so far conducted on volunteers from Ekiti, Ondo and Kwara states show that persons living with the virus “are many.” However, “the mobile tent is a tool in HIV counselling and testing that offers a room for management of possible results or reactions from a client/counsellee during and after counselling, irrespective of the result, either negative or positive.