US Govt Says 29,936 Persons Living With HIV/AIDS In Osun
The government of the United States has disclosed that 29,936 persons are living with HIV/AIDS in Osun State.
The US government through the Consul General, Will Stevens, made the disclosure as he called for intensified efforts in the fight against the virus in the state.
Stevens while decrying the number of persons living with HIV in the state called for the collaboration of the state government, medical practitioners, and non-governmental organizations for the actualization of an HIV/AIDS free state.
The US Consul General spoke during the official launching of the Osun State HIV Treatment Surge organized by Excellence Community Education Welfare Scheme (ECEWS) held at the State Secretariat in Osogbo, on Thursday.
He harped on the need to conduct more HIV tests in the state to reach out to those who do not know their status yet, adding that the purpose of the surge launch is to reach out to more people and ensure that carriers of the virus commence treatment immediately.
“We need a community of partnership. We need the government, police, civil societies and implementing partners. We need more hands in America to work together. It is going to take that combined effort to reach our most vulnerable citizens. Write those people who have been cast aside, those people who are often ignored and downtrodden and work together to find them.
“Make them feel safe, and make them feel like they can come and get tested, get treatment and spread the message that HIV is not a death sentence,” he said.
Head of Legal Service, ECWS Project Director of HIV treatment for Osun, Ekiti and Delta States, Dr Okezie Onyedinachi noted that only 16,000 have been put on treatment out of the over 29,000 persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Onyedinachi added that all of them must be reached before 2025, saying, “we have to do things differently, entering into the communities and providing opportunities for people to know their HIV status and get treatment across Osun State.”