The Jigawa Government has procured 250,000 units of HIV test kits to support counselling and treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS in the state.
Bashir Ahmad, The Executive Secretary, Jigawa State Action Committee on AIDS (JISACA), stated this on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse.
Mr. Ahmad said that the test kits and other preventive consumables worth more than N15 million were distributed to the Voluntary Testing Counselling centres (VCT), established in 21 health facilities across the state.
He said that N18 million had also been set aside for the purchase of test kits and other essential laboratory equipment in 2012 financial year.
The executive secretary said that more than 40,000 persons were screened for HIV and AIDS in 2011 at various VCT centres across the state.
“This year, more than 7,000 HIV positive persons have been screened at the centres and 5,700 of them are currently receiving ARV treatment,” he said.
Mr. Ahmad said that seven ARV centres had been established at the tertiary and secondary health facilities across the state to enhance access to treatment.
He explained that the programme had adopted effective campaign strategy to educate the communities on preventive measures of the disease, reduce stigma and promote care, as well as support services to the group.
“The HIV and AIDS prevalence is high in the state, especially in the rural areas due to stigma and poor awareness about the disease.
“We engage community and religious leaders in the campaign to encourage attitudinal and behaviour change about the condition,” he said.