The Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Zakari Usman has said that about 43,373 people are living with Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) in the state.
He made this known on Thursday while addressing a press conference on the occasion of World Aids Day, 2022.
He noted that December 1st every year is set aside for the commemoration of Worlds AIDS Day principally to raise Public Health awareness on the HIV/AIDS pandemic and show support for people living with HIV.
The Commissioner also said the day equally gives opportunities to communities and stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS to be United and advance ty cause of the reduction of the epidemic.
He noted that the Theme for this year’s WAD celebration is “Equalised to End AIDS”, adding that it is a practical action needed to address inequalities and help end AIDS which includes increase availabilities of equality and suitability of services for HIV treatment, testing, and prevention so that everyone is well served.
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He said it will also help to reform laws, policies, and practices to tackle the stigma and exclusiveness faced by people living with AIDS and key and marginalised populations so that everyone is shown respect and welcome.
Dr. Zakari, therefore, called on global leaders and citizens to boldly recognise and address inequalities that are holding back progress in ending AIDS and equal access to essential HIV services, particularly for children and key populations and their partners.
He stressed that Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello through his administration’s various health intervention programmes as contained in the new direction blueprint has built and renovated a number of hospitals in the state, and more people within the state now have access to good health services and access to free HIV screening, prevention and treatment services.
“This is in collaboration with development partners implementing HIV/AIDS programmes in the state,”. He said.