Alimosho General Hospital, Igando, last Saturday, conducted free Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) test at Igando market in Lagos, as part of activities marking World AIDS’ Day.
While speaking on the theme of the campaign, tagged: “Community makes the difference,” the hospital Medical Director, Madewa Adebajo, noted that the World AIDS’ Day was aimed at increasing advocacy on proper management of HIV and creation of awareness on its spread.
“For a secondary facility as ours, it should not be a mere routine celebration since we are custodians of data related to its spread,” he said.
Adebajo said the celebration was to harness contributions by support groups within the Alimosho community, consisting of 12,680 persons enrolled into care. He said it was expected that by 2030, 95 percent of vulnerable groups must have been tested, 95 percent engaged on treatment and 95 percent on treatment achieve, viral suppression.
According to him, these vulnerable groups include commercial sex workers, homeless people and those who share sharp objects.
In her remarks, a Senior Medical Officer with the Community Health Department of the hospital, Azeezat Oyewande, said the goal of the celebration was to check for potentially infected people from the open market, while sensitising them that technological advancement had eased off consequences of stigmatisation or discrimination towards people living with HIV.
Oyewande noted that a number of infected persons do not divulge their status even to their spouses thereby increasing the risk of spread.
She said: “There was need for enforcement of laws to stop discrimination and stigmatisation.”
Also, former coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV (PLWH) and Head Counsellor, Community Health initiative, Peter Obialor, said the facility chose to extend the campaign to their immediate community.
Obialor noted that in the past, PLWH experienced stigmatisation. But as people become more aware of its mode of transmission, in addition, to not being death sentence, are beginning to accept it.