SWITZERLAND, SEPTEMBER 6 – To commemorate Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s 100 days in office, the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA) has screened no fewer than 6000 people for HIV.
The exercise was carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday in six locations in three local government areas – two locations in Amuwo Odofin, two in Ajeromi Ifelodun and two on Lagos Island. Also included in the medical test are blood sugar and blood pressure.
LSACA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Oluseyi Temowo said the next step after people had known their status is to link them to facilities where they could access free treatment in public hospitals.
Benefits of the exercise include pre-testing counseling as well as post-test counselling, which seek to address emotional disturbance that often comes up during HIV screening programmes, he added.
He said those who were screened also went home with compensatory (OTC) drugs, such as pain relievers.
“The essence is to ensure we make an impact among the populace. As an agency, we come around in different locations in Lagos for people to check their HIV status. Globally, the song is now that people must ensure that they know their HIV status by 2020. That is, 90 per cent of people that are positive must know their status by 2020. Then 90 per cent of such people must be on treatment because there are free drugs in our hospitals. That is why we are encouraging people to come out to check their status,” he said.
The LSACA boss said Lagos has covered 73 per cent in its HIV screening, and that the next phase of 17 is what remains to be achieved between now and next year.
With this pace, he said he was confident that Lagos was on its way to eradicating HIV/AIDS by 2030.