26th August, 2017
Mr Matthew Awoyiola, an HIV and AIDS expert in Omu-Aran, Kwara has advised pregnant women to imbibe adequate HIV and AIDS testing and counseling to remain negative.
Awoyiola, the Coordinator, Local Action Committee on HIV/AIDS (LACA) in Irepodun Local Government Area of the state, gave the advice on Saturday in Omu-Aran.
The coordinator said that such gesture was to guard against mother-to-child transmission of the disease.
He said that the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by pregnant women, especially during ante-natal care was a veritable platform to reduce the scourge and prevalence of the diseases.
Awoyiola said that it would be a double jeopardy for an unborn child to test positive to HIV and AID due to the negligence of a negative mother.
“The entry point for prevention of mother-to-child services is basically through HIV testing and counseling of women attending antenatal care.
“In any healthcare setting, HIV testing and counseling should be offered to all pregnant women seeking this services.
“Service providers should promote strategies to mobilise pregnant women and other women of reproductive age to go testing and counseling,’’ he said.
The expert said that the country had been hit hard by the HIV and AIDS epidemic with an adult prevalence of around 4.4 per cent and estimated 3.9million Nigerians living with the virus
“This is in spite of the concerted efforts at halting and reversing the spread the by multiple stakeholders.
“The country remained among top five countries of the world in terms of its HIV and AIDS burden,’’ he said.
Awoyiola said that the benefits of testing and counseling in the antenatal setting as reinforcement of safer sex practices and empowering HIV negative pregnant woman to remain negative.
He noted the importance of testing and counseling, especially when care providers and mothers’ services and other interventions were not available.