Russian HIV Patients Deal With Persistent Stigma As Incidence Rises

A student signs a banner at an on-campus AIDS awareness event

Osinbajo expressed optimism that the ongoing National AIDS survey on HIV would give the country baseline to monitor the epidemic and have significance progress in curtailing it.

He urged HIV patients to disregard myths of the infection being a death sentence as "HIV/AIDS can be managed like any other disease and the patients made to live normal lives".

"I think he has taken a very important decision for him, and from talking to him I know the reason he wants to do this is because he wants to tackle the stigma associated with HIV head on".

"In FCT, we have over 360 sites where residents can get tested across the area councils, 160 sites providing drugs and 350 sites for pregnant women for prevention of mother to child transmission all free of charge, " he said.

More than half of respondents living with HIV reported negative or different treatment by health workers (52%).

He told the Press Association that there were "low level elements of stigma [surrounding HIV] in every day life".

Subsidized HIV testing kits available in campus vending machines cost less than five dollars
Subsidized HIV testing kits available in campus vending machines cost less than five dollars

The Country Program Director, AHF, Dr Echey Ijezie, said it was 30 years of commemorating World AIDS Day globally, adding that only about 38 per cent of Nigerians were aware of their status.

"We now have the tools to end HIV transmission here in the United Kingdom - a combination of regular testing, PrEP [pre-exposure prophylaxis medication], condoms and treatment as prevention - and it's vital we continue to ensure people are aware of those tools, know how and are able to access them", said THT chief executive Ian Green.

Osinbajo, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, promised that more funds would be committed to the treatment of HIV and AIDS.

Revealing that he is the only current sitting MP with the virus "does a lot to normalise HIV in the public's mind", said Ian Green, chief executive of the sexual health charity the Terrance Higgins Trust. There is a gulf between the modern reality of HIV as an entirely manageable condition and the way people perceive it. "It's time to treat HIV as a disease like any other and dispense with judgemental tropes".

Osinbajo said this while delivering speech at the commemoration of event in Abuja as part of activities to mark the 2018 World AIDS Day slated for Dec.1.

More information is available at the Centre for Social Research in Health.

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