The Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) has urged the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration, and other stakeholders to intensify their collaborative efforts in sensitizing AMAC community on HIV.
Mr Abdullahi Candido, Chairman of the Council, represented by his deputy Mr Lawrence Onuchukwu, made the appeal on Thursday at the flag off ceremony of HIV/ AIDS testing and counseling in commemoration of World AIDS Day.
The event which held in Abuja was hosted by the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) with support of Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with AMAC.
“The need to intensify HIV/AIDS education in AMAC community is important because of the unique nature of the council which receives daily influx of people from different parts of the country.
“We must not relent in our effort to fight against this disease and for increased awareness toward its prevention which remains the only solution for now.
“More focus must be put on community awareness to educate the large concentration of illiterate and semi-illiterate population in rural areas.
“Our desire is to rid the council of the spread of HIV and have healthy people, only then can our development effort thrive, for there can be no meaningful development without healthy people,’’ he said.
Dr Young Oluokun, Regional Manager, IHVN said Nigeria needed to achieve a universal access to HIV/ AIDS testing.
He said that only about one million people infected with HIV/AIDS were on treatment with about 2.5 million people not accessing treatment.
Oluokun called on Nigerians, especially the youths, to go to health facilities and get tested of HIV adding that they are the greatest human resource Nigeria has.
He further urged Nigerians to stop discrimination and stigmatisation of persons living with HIV/AIDS.
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