Saturday, September 22, 2018
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IHVN takes free HIV testing services to communities

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In line with the 2017 World AIDS Day (WAD) theme, “right to health, make it happen,” Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has taken free HIV testing services and prevention messages to the door steps of many in , Nasarawa, Kano and Katsina States and the Federal Capital Territory.

imagesIn the FCT, an interactive session with about 200 senior secondary school students was organized in collaboration with the United States Embassy at Government Secondary School Wuse Zone 3 to raise awareness about the disease and how to prevent it. Free HIV testing services were also provided at the National Assembly premises, Utako market and Apo, Kpaduma and Gbagalape communities with over 1200 people tested for HIV.

According to FCT Regional Manager, Dr. Young Oluokun, more people need to know their HIV status. “We need to find everybody, whether in the hospital or in the community. We want to find 90% of them. That’s the strategy we have adopted. We are working with hospitals, traditional birth attendants and faith based hospitals. Wherever people are, we will go to them and when they get tested, we want to ensure that they are placed on drugs and continue to live fine,” he said.

imagesHIV testing services were also provided in motor parks in Tarauni Local Government Area and Ungongo Local Government of Kano State and in Katsina State. Over 2700 people were tested. IHVN North-Western Regional Manager, Dr. Bashir Zubayr noted that the turn-out for HIV testing was impressive. “It shows that people are accessing HIV testing services more than was obtainable some years back and that there is heightened awareness,” he said.

imagesIn Nasarawa State, more than 700 people turned up for HIV testing services conducted in Doma, Karu, Rugan Juli, Mararaba Gurku and Masaka. Also, in collaboration with the Nasarawa State Agency for the Control of AIDS (NASACA), the Institute organized a road walk in Lafia and an interactive session with people living with HIV and other stakeholders in the state. IHVN Acting State Manager Nasarawa State stated that, “so many issues like implementation of the anti-stigma law, access to treatment and adherence to treatment were resolved.”

Mr. Alex Ejimofor, one of those tested at Utako Market in Abuja called for more people to get tested for HIV. “I really appreciate your organization. This is what we need in Nigeria especially in this very market. Personally, I found out that traders don’t have time on their own but this has brought the test to their door step,” he said.

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