Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has said that the state will hit zero prevalence rate in 2017, against the backdrop of the zero tolerance launched to tackle the HIV/AIDS scourge in the state.
He noted that present prevalence rate in the state stood at 3.8 per cent, but that it would drop to zero because government was committed to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the state.
The governor said this shortly after leading his top government functionaries and the state cabinet on a walk tagged “Jogging for Life” to mark this year’s World AIDS Day in Yenagoa.
Dickson emphasized the need for the people of the state to abstain from poor behavioural pattern in order to stay alive; stressing that the yuletide period was when many contract the HIV virus.
He pointed that the government would organise a day for the awareness of HIV in the state to sensitize Bayelsans on how to prevent the virus and stay healthy.
The Governor urged health workers to ensure that the message of abstinence is taken to the communities, particularly the coastal communities, even as he assured that care would be given to those infected with the virus to enable them live a normal life in society.
In his remark, the State Acting Director General, Mr. Ogrigade Iliemokumor enjoined the people to remain faithful their partners, as well as advised those with multiple partners to who are unable to abstain to always use condom to protect them from contracting the virus.
He, however, assured Bayelsans living with HIV/AIDS that government would continue to show care and love to them, adding that their positive status does not mean that they are condemned to death.