The Lagos State AIDS Control Agency has extended the free HIV-Testing and Prevention Services to over 1000 Lagos State University students as part of the government’s efforts to stall the spread of HIV in the State.
Addressing students at the Ojo campus of the University, the Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Dr. Monsurat Adeleke, stated that the outreach is targeted at youths which the State Bureau of Statistics estimated at 43% of the total population of Lagos State.
Dr. Adeleke said, “To achieve the mandate of HIV prevention in the State, these targeted interventions were strategically designed to attain the global epidemic control of HIV/AIDS, through the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) 95-95-95 targets by 2025”.
The LSACA CEO opined that the outreach provided students the opportunity to know their HIV status and adopt positive behavioural change, stating that those that tested positive for HIV shall be referred to the HIV treatment facilities in the State where they would be initiated on antiretroviral drugs to attain the third 95% – viral suppression, which will lead to achieving U=U (Undetectable viral loads = Untransmittable virus).
She emphasised the importance of HIV counselling services for lifestyle modification on safe sex practices and HIV prevention with Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials as well as free distribution of condoms.
Adeleke said the agency will adhere strictly to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) COVID-19 protocols as demonstrated by the counsellor testers, who were fully kitted in their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The Dean of Student Affairs in the institution, Dr. Tajudeen Olumoko, promised to continue enlightening the students on HIV prevention, while expressing concern that Ojo Local Government has the third-highest HIV prevalence in the State.