The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker has advocated for proven practical actions needed to address inequalities and end AIDs with equal access to prevention, care, testing and treatment services, to achieve a free HIV/AIDS generation by the year 2030.
Dr. Coker said this at a press conference held to commemorate the 2022 World AIDS Day with the theme, “EQUALISE: To end AIDS, Equal Access to Prevention Services, Equal Access to Testing and Treatment Services”.
The Commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Kayode Oladehinde stated that over the last few years, progress towards HIV goals was stalled, resources have shrunk and numerous lives are at risk, while disparity and inequality to access to health and HIV services and disregard for human rights were among the failures that allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis.
She highlighted improved knowledge, attitude and behavioral activities across the State, through various enlightenment programmes in schools and campuses, media, as well as activations of Key Populations (KPs) friendly centres across the State, to enable KPs to have access to prevention and treatment services, among others.
Coker, according to the Press Officer, OGSACA, Mrs. Tomi Soremi, said the present government had intensified efforts to halt the spread of HIV and AIDS by opening One-Stop Shop (OSS) solely for the treatment of KPs, routine data monitoring and supervision, situation analyses of Ogun State HIV services through coordination meetings, and many more.
Earlier in his address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alhaji Waheed Adesina said his Ministry would continue to support OGSACA on public enlightenment, advising people to be cautious of the virus, so as not to be infected.
Alhaji Adesina pointed out that the virus was not a death sentence, hence stigmatisation and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS should be stopped, promising that the Ministry would continue to sensitise the populace on the virus.
He added that “if we can control COVID-19, we can also control the spread of HIV/AIDS. Let people know that being HIV positive is not the end of life, but, we should show love to those who are infected to win the war permanently”.