The Ogun state Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, on Tuesday, said not less than 46,143 people in Ogun State are now living with HIV/AIDS.
Coker, who revealed this while updating journalists on the activities planned to commemorate the 2023 World AIDS Day in Abeokuta, said 33,489 of the figure have been identified and are receiving long-term treatment.
According to her, 21,083 persons tested positive for HIV/AIDS out of a total of 782,005 people tested between 2020 and 2023.
She continued by saying that 12,654 HIV-positive people in Ogun State lack access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), and the state’s prevalence rate is 1.6%.
According to Coker, the state has been working hard to reach the 95-95-95 2030 goal of zero HIV infection and quickly reach HIV treatment saturation.
Speaking on the theme of the 2023 World AIDS Day celebration, “Communities: Leadership To End AIDS by 2030,” Coker stated that in order to boost the state’s testing capacity, 400 testing centres had been constructed throughout its 20 local government districts.
“Sadly, in Ogun state, 46,143 persons are estimated to be living with HIV while 33,489 of this have been identified and placed on sustained treatment.
“However, 12,654 are yet to be reached. These individuals are spread within the communities. Hence the needs for our communities to now take the lead in our response to ending HIV.
“Our communities are pivotal to any successful response to HIV/AIDS because, they are well-positioned to address both the social and cultural factors that contribute to HIV transmission.
“Our health facilities currently providing HIV services have been increased from 198 in 2019 to 497 as at November 2023.
“About 300 communities’ testers have been engaged and spread across the communities within the 20 LGAs for HIV case finding while our comprehensive treatment centers have been increased from 22 to 43”, Coker said.
Dr. Kehinde Fatungase, Executive Secretary of the Ogun State Action Committee on HIV/AIDS (OGSACA), noted that the state has established HIV test centres in a few higher institutions in the state for student testing and counselling.
To stop the virus from spreading, Fatungase asked everyone, but especially the young ones, to get tested and find out their status.