The Executive Director, OneForAll Initiative, Babawale Popoola, on Saturday called on Nigerians to get tested to enable them to know their HIV status.
Babawale made the call in Osogbo during a FREE HIV SCREENING exercise organised by OneForAll Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation, to commemorate 2019 World AIDS Day.
The theme of this year’s activity is “Know Your Status’’.
He said that the Day, which was commemorated annually on Dec. 1, gave opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and to show support for people living with the virus.
He added that the day was also set aside to enable everyone to know their status and to fight against stigmatisation and discrimination.
“World AIDS Day is observed on Dec.1 globally. I had my test a few days ago and I encourage everyone to get tested to know their status.
Adv. Babawale Popoola, Executive Director, OneForAll Initiative, said that the Day was set aside to create awareness on HIV and AIDS.
Babawale recalled that in 2016, no fewer than 1.4 million people were tested and became aware of their HIV status.
He said that the Day offered an opportunity to highlight the success of worldwide efforts to combat HIV and AIDS as well as the importance of continued support to end the scourge in 2030.
“Nigeria is a global signatory to end AIDS in 2030, which means that every Nigerian that is positive must be placed on treatment and that is why this year, the theme is `know your status’.
“Knowing your status is the entry point of accessing HIV services and those who turn positive are given anti-retroviral drugs free of charge.
“Nigeria can contribute to the aspiration of ending AIDS in 2030 as we encourage everyone to know their status and we are determined not to leave anyone behind.
“In Osun State, with a team of medical professionals as volunteers we are conducting free HIV screening, counseling, consultation and giving Condoms free of charge,’’ he said.
The Osun State Commissioner For Health, Dr Rafiu Ismaotu has affirmed the commitment of the government to providing support that will ensure healthy living of those living with HIV in the state as an endorsement for OneForAll Initiative’s activities.