Current statistics yesterday showed Delta State on the verge of eliminating the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), following an estimated 68, 000 incidences virally suppressed and treated.
Against the backdrop of a visit by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) on the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, The Pointer learned that Delta had moved from a HIV-burden state to a HIV-maintenance state in the last two years.
While commending NACA for recognizing the efforts of the state government in the fight against HIV/AIDS and building a healthier society, the state’s spokesman harped on the significance of effective communication and sensitization in reducing the stigmatization associated with the disease.
Accordingly, the Information Commissioner pledged strategic media partnership with NACA to cascade information of global best practices in the fight against HIV/AIDS to the grassroots, adding that the state government would consider the inclusion of persons living with the virus in its numerous empowerment schemes.
Earlier, the South-south Zonal Coordinator of NACA, Dr. Uduak Daniel, applauded the state government for being foremost in providing up-to-date data to drive performance, even as she emphasized the multi-sectorial management of HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Uduak also recognized the human capital and infrastructural development strides of the Okowa-led administration, even as she informed the Information Commissioner of their forthcoming seminar to educate the masses on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and other communication strategies.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the State Agency for the Control of AIDS (DELSACA), Dr. John Osuyali, said, ‘’we are virtually getting close to the epidemic-control of HIV/AIDS in Delta State through the benevolence and political will of Governor Okowa.
‘’As at two years ago, we had about 22, 000 persons on treatment; today, we have 68, 000 persons on treatment. We were a HIV-burden state because people were not coming forth for treatment.
‘’In less than two years, we have been able to get that volume of people on treatment and under control; they cannot transmit the virus because they are all virally suppressed. We are not relenting in our efforts to mop up the remaining few cases’’ he said.