World AIDS Day: Foundation conducts free HIV screening in FCT
Residents of Daki-Biyu, a suburb in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Wednesday benefited from the free HIV screening and distribution of condoms organised by AIDS Health Care Foundation (AHF).
The Foundation’s Advocacy and Marketing Manager, Mr Steve Aborishade, said it was part of the organisation’s activities to commemorate the 2018 Worlds AIDS Day, celebrated on December 1 annually.
He said the activities of the Worlds AIDS Day which was also in line with the global theme, `Know Your Status’, would screen no fewer than 50,000 Nigerians and distribute 300,000 condoms across six states.
According to him, the states are Abuja, Anambra, Cross River, Kogi, Benue and Nasarawa State.
“AHF is the largest global NGO, with about one million people on treatment globally and Africa contributes more than 500, 000 clients.
“AHF vision 20/20, however, aims to get about 20 million people by the year 2020 on treatment, we believe more people should be on treatment as we support the Nigerian government to eradicate HIV in the country.
“It is also important to note that the government, stakeholders and individuals must play their parts by keeping the promises made on AIDS,’’ Aborishade said.
Mrs Chinelo Achebe, Prevention Coordinator, AHF Abuja Programme, said the significance of the testing drive by AHF was aimed at reaching many people in urban and rural communities to know their HIV status.
Achebe said free HIV screening and distribution of condoms was being conducted simultaneously in various locations in the FCT and its environs of Zuba, Kuje, Waru, Tuganmaji and Abaji .
According to her, sensitisation programmes on prevention and distribution of condoms at the various locations is aimed at reducing transmission of the virus.
She added that clients who test positive would be enrolled into AHF clinics where they would receive counseling and free treatment.
Some of the beneficiaries of the HIV screening told NAN that the exercise was a laudable and impactful one.
Miss Favour Godswill, said she was happy and satisfied with her test result while appreciating the organisation for the exercise and encouraging members of the public to get tested and know their status.
“I advise people out there to know their HIV and health status, they should not always trust their partners but protect themselves sexually by using condoms if they can’t abstain from sex.
Miss Honourer Moses said she was glad to have been screened for the first time in her life, she appreciated AHF for bringing the services to their community.
“I was really scared initially but am happy I did the test for the first time, I have learnt to protect myself sexually by using a female condom and I advise other people who are scared to be courageous and get tested.
Mr Emmanel Matthew said the screening exercise had educated him on the mode of transmission as well as the prevention methods of HIV and AIDS.
“I have learnt different ways through which HIV can be contracted, which is by not protecting myself during sex, through contact with sharp contaminated objects like needles and razor blades.
“Am also happy I know my HIV status and I advise everyone to get tested and be interested in acquiring more knowledge about the disease,’’ he said
Muhammadu Alhamin a trader in the community said he was excited to be screened for the diseases and to get a negative result.
“All I use to know is that HIV is a killer disease, it destroys the human body gradually until the person dies.
“But today I am better informed that HIV is not a death sentence, that with treatment, a healthy life is very possible, and I really thank the organisation for coming to test us at our community,’’ he said.
Photo Credit: Google