World AIDS Day 2018, "Know your status", celebrates 30th anniversary

Christian charity organisation World Vision in an HIV  AIDs prevention drive with Uganda Police and Prisons. Courtecy

"I call on countries to use the new HIV testing strategies and to choose a strategic mix of service delivery models to achieve universal and equitable access to HIV testing and counselling".

At Bebashi - Transition to Hope, the goal is to minimize HIV infection through free HIV/STI testing, HIV prevention education, and by providing Medical Case Management services to people living with HIV.

One man said, "when you are having sex with a woman for the first time and you are in the heat of the moment the last thing you think about is if the person has an infection or not". For this, we need political will and investment, as well as novel and innovative approaches to HIV testing that are fully leveraged and taken to scale.

If people don't know their HIV status, they can't protect themselves, their families, their partners.

"Thus, we must intensify our collective efforts to meet the serious challenges to eliminating the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people in Nigeria and Lagos State, in order to move towards a HIV-free generation by 2020", Dabiri said.

"In addition, more than three in five (15.3 million) people are accessing life-saving antiretroviral therapy". More people living with HIV are now receiving treatment that is allowing them to live longer, healthier lives.

"This progress is however not uniform in our Region". It has also pledged to enable 90% of HIV positive people in the country know their status on treatment and provide 90% of those on treatment experience with effective viral load suppression.

According to World Health Organization 1 in 4 people with HIV don't know they have it, so know your risk and know your status.

Over 2.1 million people live with HIV in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1.6 million of whom know their status.

Adebayo while lamenting low rate of HIV testing, disclosed that only 22 million out of over 37 million people now affected are undergoing treatment.

She noted that many young people and adult men were being left behind and others still only get tested after becoming ill. Stigma and discrimination still deters people from taking an HIV test. Access to confidential HIV testing is still an issue of concern.

"Our great success in preventing HIV transmission from mothers to babies demonstrates that we can make progress".

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