2021 World Aids Day: Abia on Red Alert, 55,000 Infected, Only 19,000 on Treatment

As Nigeria joins the globe today to mark 2021 world Aids Day, The Executive Secretary cum Program Manager, Abia State Agency for the Control  of HIV& AIDS, ABSACA, Dr Ogbonna Ikechukwu Ehimere 
has advised Abians to take advantage of massive testing, counseling and treatment to get their viral load surprised.
The virus, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The HIV virus attacks the immune system of the patient and reduces its resistance to other diseases.
It is on this backdrop that World AIDS Day, was designated on 1st December every year since 1988, as an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease.
The day gives Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations, and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.
This year has the theme ‘End inequalities. End AIDS.’  End the Pandemic”.
Dr Ehimere said Abia state is lucky to have two donors come back to help the state identify people affected and give them treatment.

               Dr Ehimere

Dr Ogbonna revealed that in 2010, the response of HIV/AIDS had about 5.3, it came to about 7.5  percent, As at 2018 the prevailiance rate come down to about 2.1 percent . 
His words “From 2010 to 2018, Abia had seven sponsors that came   and helped the programming with huge funding that helped achieve in the response plan”
“When we were selected as a pilot scheme for the program, but most of the donors have withdrawn”.
“Now that they are back to the state, we expect the prevalence rate will drop by 2023 and they should be able to achieve epidemic control then by 2030. 2015-2020 they were had sponsoring programs where they were left alone sponsors by the federal government and state government to pursue HIV response, of which, funding was very low”.
“As at today they had two donors carter as an implementing donor through Pefa American embassy and (SFFH) society for family health through global fund”.
The medical expert maintained that HIV spreads mainly through  hytro sexual relationships but now is through blood transfusion and blood product . It is also  spread through non hytro sexual relationships and condemned all forms of anal sex. 
Dr Ehimere said the control of HIV spread is a collaborative efforts with the other partner agencies like primary health care center, health insurance scheme by  prevention, treatment, care and support. 
In  prevention they must get across to key population also call pron group to sensitize them and reminded tell them to come out of relationship that might lead to HIV infection. 
His advices read in parts, “we are also do massive testing  in communities and those who are positive are being tract  and place on treatment then follow there relationships and monitor them over time to be able to get positive response”.
He added that “all positive cases are send for treatment and those on  treatment are followed up to make sure they attain viral suppression  which is the aim of the agency to achieve epidemic control.
According to Dr Ehimere, about fifty five persons are infected in Abia State with only nineteen thousand receiving treatment.
He disclosed that Abia state is establishing domestic response technical group to help source for means of managing the virus since the donors agencies are withdrawing due to global bad economy.
However, Dr Ogbonna Ehimere revealed that trans border movement helps to spread of the virus, while major states around Abia with high prevalence contribute to make Abia to be on red alert. He therefore appealed to people to go for testing and avoid actions that will lead them to HIV and aids infection.

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