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LASG, firm partner on HIV/AIDS prevention campaign

By Ibe Wada,

The Lagos Government and Heartland Alliance Limited by Guarantee (HALG), has concluded plans to partner, stem and mitigate the impact of human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in the state and its environ.

As stated, the partnership had been made to ensure an all-inclusive healthcare programme that would cater for key sections of its population and ensure infected and affected persons have access to needed quality care.

They explained that the formed collaboration was part of the duos commitments in opening floodgates of large-scale effort towards bringing high quality and respectful HIV prevention services to people living with the virus.

Speaking on the partnership, the Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), Monsurat Adeleke, said that the partnership would enable state government to provide needed HIV/AIDS interventions for the important groups in the population.

Addressing the participants after commissioning a comprehensive one-stop-shop clinic for the key population at Ipakodo in Ikorodu Local Government Area of the state recently, noted that the partnership alongside the clinic was to achieve the 2030 target and end the transmission of HIV/AIDS amongst the state residents.

Adeleke reaffirmed the agency’s commitment towards leading the state’s HIV response as part of measures to stem its spread and mitigate its impact on those living with the virus.

“The agency and the Ministry of Health have also been working closely with different stakeholders towards attaining the global eradication of new HIV infections by the year 2030, through the UNAIDS 90-90-90 initiative, that is; 90% of the people living with the virus should know their status, 90% of HIV positive individuals should be initiated on antiretroviral (ART) drugs and 90% of individuals on ART should achieve viral suppression.

“HALG has been providing support in the area of HIV prevention and treatment for over a decade and has consistently supported HIV interventions amongst the key population (KPs) in the state,’’ she said.

Adeleke added that in ensuring effective HIV service coverage for the KPs in the LGAs supported by Global Funds, (Ikorodu, Isolo and Epe), the agency granted HALG approval to scale-up HIV services for the key population towards bringing total number of LGAs where HALG is currently implementing HIV response programmes in Lagos to 13, namely Agege, Somolu, Surulere, Kosofe, Lagos Mainland, Apapa, Lagos Island, Ojo, Ajeromi, Badagry, Epe, Oshodi and Ikorodu.

On his part, the Director of Community Prevention, Care and Support Services of the National Agency for the Control AIDS (NACA), Alex Ogundipe, who represented the Director-General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, while acknowledging the activities of HALG in HIV response, said that the one-stop-shop model of HALG allows for confidential care and support for KPs, thereby increasing the uptake of HIV prevention services.

In his remarks, the CEO of HALG, Dr Bartholomew Ochonye, commended the state government for and LSACA for the provision of a large quantity of HIV Rapid Oral Test Kits for the various interventions.

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