4,531 Sex Workers Undergo HIV/AIDS Testing In Ogun

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The Ogun State Agency for the Control of AIDS has said 4,531 female sex workers have undergone HIV/AIDS testing and counselling in the state.

The agency also said it has been going to correctional facilities in the state to test inmates for HIV and counsel them on the prevention of the disease.

The Executive Secretary of OGSACA, Kehinde Fatungase, said this on Monday at a briefing to mark the 2021 World AIDS Day in Abeokuta.

Fatungase said, “25,554 out of 38,093 estimated numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS in the state are currently receiving treatment while 25,136 are on antiretroviral therapy. 4,531 female sex workers have undergone HIV/AIDS testing and counselling in the state.”

He noted that the state was embarking on aggressive community testing, counselling and campaign to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS by 95 per cent by 2030.

Fatungase, however, attributed low level of literacy, poverty, drug abuse and gender-based violence, as factors contributing to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the state.

The Executive Secretary of OGSACA who spoke on the theme of the event, ‘End Inequalities, End Pandemic, End AIDS,’ disclosed that the anti-stigma bill for people living with HIV/AIDS when passed into law would not only protect the rights of HIV/AIDS patients but also reduce discrimination against them.

He said it was unfortunate that the stigmatisation against people living with HIV/AIDS had made the campaign against the spread of the disease difficult.

“Division, disparity and disregard for human rights are among the failures that allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis.

“The medicine, information and prevention tools are simply not reaching the people who need them most. We need a new approach that reduces the inequalities that drive the AIDS epidemic and puts people at the centre, prioritising human rights, respect and dignity,” Fatungase said.

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