Following research results by AIDS Prevention Initiative Nigeria (APIN) in February 2016 ranking communities in Alimosho Local Government Area at the top of councils with the highest number of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Lagos, the Ministry of Youth and Social Development has embarked on a sexual reproductive health prevention sensitisation campaign in Alimosho communities.
The sensitisation campaign with the theme: “Know Your Status: AIDS is Real” began with a walk on Human Immune Virus and Sexually Transmitted Infections (HIV/STIs) prevention awareness from Abesan Housing Estate in Ipaja-Ayobo to the Alimosho Local Government Secretariat last Tuesday.
The ministry’s commissioner, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, who led a team comprising health workers and members of staff of the ministry on the first sensitisation walk, said the prevention campaign was crucial.
Addressing members of the community, she enjoined them to know their statuses by visiting medical centres within the state as well as to abstain from unprotected sexual intimacies by using condom.
Akinbile-Yussuf, who described HIV as a significant public health challenge especially among the youth, said, “Even if you test positive, it is not the end of the world, the best thing is to seek medical advice at the early stage. Then you will be counselled and guided on how to live a healthy life as it is not the disease that kills, but the virus which gradually affects the immune system of the infected person. You know the immune system is the body’s natural defense against illness. So without it, one becomes vulnerable and that is what leads to death”.
Also speaking, the Sole Administrator of Mosan-Okunola LCDA, Mr Rotimi Ogunwuyi, who reiterated the prevalence of the disease in Alimosho, commended the ministry for its efforts.
The sensitisation walk was followed with free HIV test at Ipaja-Ayobo Youth Friendly Centre.