Foundation to distribute 300,000 condoms
No fewer than 50,000 Nigerians are to receive free screening for HIV/AIDS and 300,000 packets of condoms to be distributed by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).
This is to commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day.
The group’s Advocacy and Marketing Manager, Mr Steve Aborisade said this in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
He said it was part of the organisations activities to commemorate the 2018 World AIDS Day celebrated on Dec.1 every year.
According to him, the free HIV screening and distribution of condoms will be conducted in Abuja, Anambra, Cross River, Kogi, Benue and Nasarawa States.
“As part of the activities, we will provide free HIV screening to about 50, 000 Nigerians in Abuja, Anambra, Cross River, Kogi, Benue and Nasarawa States.
“Also, about 300, 000 condoms will be distributed to Nigerians free of charge in these states,’’ he said.
Dr Echey Ijezie, the Country Programme Director of AHF, also said the activity for the World AIDS Day was in line with the mandate of the Foundation to support the eradication of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria.
Ijezie said that the strong testing drive by AHF for the World AIDS Day was in line with the global theme: “Know Your Status’’.
“This is remarkable, given the poor attitude to HIV testing in our society and to remind stakeholders of the need to keep promises made to eradicate AIDS.
“Our mandate is implemented with the support and effort of the Nigerian government through the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA),’’he said.
According to him, globally, including Nigeria, there are millions of people who are HIV positive and do not know their status.
He said with Nigeria having the second largest HIV epidemic in the world, with one of the highest rates of new infection in sub-Saharan Africa, it was important for people to know their status.
According to UNAIDS, around two-third of new HIV infections in West and Central Africa in 2017 occurred in Nigeria, UNAIDS reports show that few adolescents test for HIV regularly in Nigeria.
“In 2017 according to the global AIDS agency, only two per cent of males between 15 and 19 and four per cent of females had tested for HIV in the last 12 months,’’ Ijezie said.
He listed events to celebrate the day in the FCT as collaboration with NACA to provide Sexually Transmitted Disease screening, condom and sanitary pad distribution, blood glucose and blood pressure check counselling.
Others include mobile community film screening in Mpape, a suburb in the FCT and provision of free condoms to partners in Civil Society Organisations, Networks and Associations to support their outreach.
World AIDs Day is held Dec. 1 annually, and it gives opportunity to people globally to unite in the fight against HIV and also to show support to people living with the virus and to commemorate people who have died.
The Foundation is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS organisation in the world that provides health care to about one million patients in 38 countries.