It was an all-inclusive sensitization on Friday in Osogbo as the Osun State Action Committee on AIDS (OSACA) in collaboration with other partners commemorated World AIDS Day.
The celebration, which started with street sensitization from Olaiya, Aregbe and Ogo-Oluwa, climaxed at the OSAMDO hall where tests were carried out, lectures delivered and free protective materials shared.
Speaking with the participants, the Executive Secretary of the OSACA, Dr Niyi Oginni said an estimated number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Osun is 52,000, stating that the virus is still within the populace.
While calling on the people to always get tested, Oginni called led for improved funding of the agency in order to deliver on its mandate optimally.
Oginni said, “this is the agency that the government has established to tackle the spread of the HIV/AIDS but the funding has been grossly inadequate. Over the years, the world bank and other development partners have been funding the agency but they are no longer available. So the government must do its best to ensure that the agency is funded to perform our responsibility optimally.”
Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration which is “let the communities lead”, the Executive Secretary said, “the community is a group of people that have similar interests. The community can be a religious group, the CSO, CBO, youth groups etc and they have a critical role to play in leading the advocacy towards ending the spread of the virus at grassroots.”
Participants were taken through the strategic plans towards achieving 95:95:95 in testing, management and awareness at the grassroots.
Speaking at the event, Dr Micheal Oyerinde, the Special Adviser to Governor Ademola Adeleke on Primary Healthcare said the government will take a critical look into the paucity of funds battling the OSACA.
He commended the agency for the sensitization it has embarked upon.
December 1st is set aside to mark International AIDS Day across the globe.