By Bright Bassey
The Lagos State AIDS Control Agency, LSACA has said that 9,579 people have tested positive to HIV. The figure is out of the 616,318 people who attended the HIV Counseling and Testing, HCT awareness program between January to June 2016.
Dr. Oluseyi Temowo, Chief Executive Officer, LSACA disclosed this at a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos to mark the 2016 World AIDS Day.
Temowo said a total 599,560 people were counseled in 2015 and 15,311 were tested to be HIV positive, adding that 52, 803 were living on Antiretrovirals, ARVs.
“These statistics simply means that there are many more people who are not aware that they have the virus that is why knowing one’s status is very important.
“It is a common knowledge that an HIV positive person can be symptom free for 10 years and will continue to infect others, if not checked and treated.
“Being HIV positive does not translate to death with appropriate medications,” he said.
The LASCA Chief said the agency is conducting free HIV counseling and testing all over the state to help Lagos residents know their health status, and prevent further transmission to others.
He added that it would help to eradicate the virus by 2030
“Achieving AIDS free generation requires collective efforts, this is why we are calling on government at all levels, individuals and organisations to join us in this quest to make Lagos State an HIV Free Zone.
“We implore residents to visit all government hospitals within their areas to access free HCT, while HCT trucks will move around to reach other areas for this purpose.
“We also advise people to ensure these various means of prevention- condom use, harm reduction, voluntary medical male circumcision, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, counselling and testing,” he said.