Lagos State Provides Antiretroviral Treatment For 52,803 HIV-Positive Persons
Lagos state government is well on its way to achieving its goal to make Lagos state a HIV-free zone by 2030.
On Thursday, the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA) announced that 52,803 HIV-positive people are currently on Antiretrovirals (ARVs) in the state.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Agency , Dr. Oluseyi Temowo, disclosed this in Ikeja as a prelude to the event to mark the year 2016 World AIDS DAY event with the theme : ‘ Hands up for #HIV Prevention.’
Dr. Oluseyi said this year’s theme was to ensure that various means of prevention on HIV were applied differently by individuals in the use of condoms, harm reduction, voluntary medical male circumcision, prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission and HIV Counseling and Testing.
He added that United Nations had declared 1st December every year as World AIDS DAY since 1998 to remember those that had died of the scourge, those living with it and to take stock of various interventions and chart ways of ending the scourge.
Dr. Temowo intoned that achieving an HIV-Free Generation required collective effort. That was why the Agency, according to him , was calling on the partners, government at all levels and organisations to work together to make Lagos State HIV FREE ZONE by being able to eradicate the dreaded pandemic by 2030.
According to a 2009 report by the Lagos state ministry of health, 109,664 Lagosians have been tested for HIV. A whopping 9,833 of this number tested positive to HIV.
Out of 24,239 pregnant women tested, 899 were discovered to also be HIV-Positve.
What are Antiretrovirals?
Antiretroviral medicines or Antiretrovirals are medicines that help people with AIDS. Anti- means against. HIV is a retrovirus. So antiretroviral means it fights retroviruses.
Antiretrovirals cannot cure AIDS. This means they cannot make all of the virus leave a person’s body. But they can make people with AIDS more healthy. Antiretrovirals help people fight the HIV virus. This makes their immune systems work better. So antiretrovirals are a treatment but not a cure for HIV.
People with HIV/AIDS who take antiretroviral medicines live longer. They live longer without getting AIDS defining illnesses.
But after a long time, the HIV virus learns how to fight the antiretrovirals. The HIV virus is not killed by this medicine. HIV becomes resistant to the medicine. Then the resistant HIV hurts the immune system and the person may get AIDS.