Following the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS), 2018 Report, which put Akwa Ibom, Benue and Rivers states as top carrier of the virus, the State Government have decided to enact a law that will help prosecute willful spreaders.
The Bye-law will help reduce the number of those (especially women) who though aware of the virus in them but still go around spreading it through various methods especially sex.
Speaking with press on Monday, 18th March, at Uyo, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, in reaction to the NAIIS result, said other long term measures to be adopted to bring the prevalence down in the state would be to lead advocacy to the legislative arm of government to put in place laws to protect PLHIV and to curb transmission of new infections by expeditiously deliberating and passing the bill on Anti-stigma and Discrimination against PLHIV/AIDS.
“We will lead advocacy to local government councils in the state to lend regular and dedicated support for HIV intervention and other health programmes in their respective local government areas.”
He also says, the state government will increase “access to treatment by creating new comprehensive treatment centres in one senatorial district to be fully supported by the state government; this will complement other comprehensive treatment centres supported by international partners.
He concluded, saying, “We all know HIV is transmitted mainly by unprotected sexual contact with infected persons hence, Akwa Ibomites should imbibe the simple ABCs of HIV prevention – Abstinence, being faithful to one’s partner, correct and consistence condom use and refraining from the use of illicit drugs which could be injectable or otherwise.
“I therefore urge Akwa Ibomites to stand up and fight to stop the transmission of HIV virus; we have a part to play no matter how little.”