Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, has said that People Living With HIV/ AIDS (PHWHA) in the State will soon benefit from the government’s empowerment programmers.
The commissioner disclosed this on Monday when the Zonal Coordinator, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Uduak Daniel, led his team on a courtesy visit to Asaba.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Executive Secretary, Delta State Agency for the Control of AIDS (DELSACA), Dr. John Osuyali, and Head, Prevention and Communication Unit, Delta, Dr. Iheaka Ezieme, was part of the team.
Aniagwu said that stigmatization of the people living with HIV/AIDS had remained because of the initial fears and lack of effective communication on the virus emergence while calling on everyone to know their status.
He said that many sensitizations about the virus and the emergence of antiretroviral drugs had are now available to enable people to live freely.
He commended the efforts of NACA and its partners for making Delta lead the chart in tackling the virus for a healthier society.
He noted that a healthy environment would contribute to productivity in every sector of the State.
He also applauded the team’s dedication in case tracing, identifying, and reducing the ability of carriers to infect others, adding that people should stop seeing the virus as a death sentence.
The commissioner promised to promote the sensitization of the public on different media platforms for free as part of community service.
He said that Delta had recorded a milestone in tackling the virus but called for more efforts to get to a stage where people would stop being scared about it.
Earlier, Daniel said that the HIV/AIDS response was not strictly a health sector issue but multi-sectoral, adding that the support given to other sectors should also extend to the HIV/AIDS sector.
She said that new HIV self-testing kits had been launched and are readily available in health facilities to avoid stigmatization and ensure a more productive workforce.
She appealed to the commissioner and the state government to include the PLWHA in different programs, adding that it would increase the confidence level of the victims.
On his part, Osuyali said that the organization had done a lot to curtail the virus in the last two years.
He said that 22,700 persons were on treatments within the period, but 68,000 persons have now been traced and are receiving treatment.
He thanked the state government for its support, assuring that they would not relent to discharge their duties to intensify efforts in case tracing and treatment.