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9,579 HIV cases discovered in Lagos – LSACA

LAGOS State Aids Control Agency (LSACA) disclosed on Wednesday that about 9, 579 cases of HIV were discovered in Lagos between the months of January and June 2016.

Report by UNAIDS said an estimated 1.9 million adults have become infected with HIV every year worldwide.

Chief Executive Officer of LSACA, Dr Oluseyi Temowo, said while briefing journalists at Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre as part of the activities put in place to mark the year 2016 World AIDS Day, which come up on December 1, with the theme: “Hands up for HIV Prevention.”

According to Temowo, about 616, 318 people were counselled, tested and received results during the same period, out of which 9,579 individuals were found to be positive.

“In the year 2015, a total number of 599, 560 people were counselled, tested and received results out of which 15, 311 were found to be positive.

“In 2016 (1st Semester January to June), 616, 318 people were counselled, tested and received results out of which 9,579 individual were found to be positive. However, 52,803 positive individuals are currently on Antiretrovirals (ARVs),” he said.

The CEO reiterated that an HIV positive person could be symptoms free for 10 years and would continue to infect others if not checked and treated; adding that being an HIV positive person does not translate to death with appropriate medication.

Speaking on the importance of World AIDS Day, LSACA boss said the event is celebrated globally to remember those that had died of the scourge, those living with it and to take stock of various interventions and chart ways of ending it.

He said: “This year’s global theme of: “Hands up for HIV Prevention” is apt based on the UNAIDS prevention gap report that an estimated 1.9 million adults have become infected with HIV every year worldwide, for at least the past five years and that the number of new HIV infections is rising in some region.”

Temowo informed that HIV prevention efforts must be reinvigorated if the world is to stay on the fast-track to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as agreed globally at UNAIDS meeting in New York in June this year.