1, 051 Pregnant Women Test Positive To HIV In Lagos


At least, 1,051 pregnant women have tested positive to the dreaded HIV disease in  public hospitals in Lagos State, South West Nigeria in 10 months, says the state  Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris.

According to the commissioner, the 10-month period is between January and  October, 2010. He revealed that over 28,000 pregnant women were tested for HIV  within the period and 1, 051 of them tested positive.

Dr. Idris butressed his claim from a survey carried out by National Sentinel  Surveys which put the prevalent rate of HIV infection in the state at a staggering  5.1 percent.

“The sentinel surveys carried out in Lagos has confirmed a steady, though,  inconsistent increase in the number of HIV infected people.  While sharing the love  and not the virus, let us all join hands together to achieve an HIV/AIDS free  Lagos,” said Idris at a conference to mark the World’s AID Day in Lagos.

According to him, Lagos has almost one million people infected with HIV out  of the estimated 18 million people in the state, adding that over 115,000 people  were tested for HIV in various health facilities across the state between January  and October 2010.

“Over 35,000 clients are enrolled into ART programme.  The state government  has significantly increased the service delivery points in the state in respect of  HIV treatment, care, support and prevention services.

“Lagos State has taken the lead in the fight against discrimination with the  passage of a law for the protection of Persons Living With HIV/AIDs, PLWHAs,” he  added.

The commissioner disclosed that the state government has intensified efforts to  ensure that access to HIV/AIDS preventive and curative services were improved  throughout the state and the rights of PLWHAs were not infringed.

He noted that PLWHAs should be an integral part of the society with equal right as  any other citizen without limitation and discrimination. He said there should be no  discrimination at work places, public places; no travelling restriction and victims  should have equal rights with people not affected.

The commissioner also revealed that government has put in place measures to enable  people with HIV/AIDS have access to preventive and curative services as well as  enhance the health of PLWHAs through nutritional programmes.

He described Lagos State as a trail blazer in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria  as it was the first state in the country to recognize the epidemic impact of the  disease in 1999 by setting up a foundation which later became the state’s AIDS  Control Agency in 2002.

He explained that through the foundation’s efforts, the 2005 National  HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey showed that more than 97 percent of  Lagosians have heard of HIV and AIDS and 94 percent of them had good knowledge of  its prevention.

“Presently, there are 56 HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) sites spread  across the State. There are 40 prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT)  sites, 29 adult antiretroviral therapy (ART) sites and 22 paediatrics ART sites.  Several developmental partners are committed along with the state government towards  improved access to HIV/AIDS services in the State.

“The Lagos State AIDS Control Agency also provides micro-credit schemes to  alleviate various problems facing PLWHAs towards their social and economic  empowerment,” he added.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga

  Copyright protected by Digiprove © 2010 P.M.News

Load more