Seven thousand HIV patients ignore anti-retroviral drugs in Ogun

There should be more funds available for the eradication of HIV/AIDS.

About seven thousand persons living with HIV/AIDS have refused to collect anti-retroviral drugs, the Ogun State Government has said.

The Director of the Ogun State Action Committee on Aids, OGSACA, Kehinde Fatungase, made this known at a press conference held in Abeokuta, the state capital.

“On the number of those accessing antiretroviral drugs, out of the19, 000 expected, only 12, 000 people were turning up,” Mr. Fatungase informed.

He said that as part of measures to control the spread of the virus, his agency on a regular basis undertakes the operation of mobile HIV Counselling and Testing, HCT, in areas identified as hot spots like the trailer park in Ogere and higher institutions of learning in the State.

He asked the media to help in creating necessary awareness about the disease.

In a related development, the Commissioner for Health in the State, Olaokun Soyinka, called on the Federal Government to address the gap in the treatment of the disease to ensure that the 1.5 million Nigerians living positively are treated, so that the dream of achieving zero AIDS related deaths could be realized.

Mr. Soyinka lamented that as the prevalence rate of the disease increases, lesser funds are being made available to combat it. He called for concerted effort from all stakeholders to address the prevalence.

The commissioner said that the Ogun State Government is poised to redouble efforts and take steps necessary towards achieving a zero infection among residents.

Mr. Soyinka explained that government is already working towards the passage of an anti stigma bill, adding that when finally passed into a law, it will help address issues relating to stigma which has been discovered to be one of the challenges in stemming the prevalence rate.

He said the state, in collaboration with the World Bank, and OGSACA, had been facilitating the training of relevant personnel, procuring and distributing test kits, embarking on awareness campaign as well as ensuring continuous strengthening of institutions, in the bid to scale down the 3.1 per cent prevalence rate in the state.

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