The Nasarawa state government said 90 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS have a suppressed viral load and encouraged them to take their medication regularly and sustainably to avoid re-infection in the state.
Ministry of Health Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (M&E) of the State Agency for AIDS Control Programs, Ms. Halimatu Musa, made the statement at a two-day training session for media houses on the youth-friendly HIV/AIDS program in cooperation with the Nasarawa State Agency for AIDS Control ( NASACA) in Abuja.
She explained that the state has registered 82,302 people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) who are currently receiving treatment.
She therefore called for more support from the Federal Ministry of Health and other partners to procure and supply the state with test children and other prevention packages.
In her speech, Nasarawa State Aids Control Agency (NASACA) Executive Director Dr. Ruth Bello that the training was organized to update the media on the progress made and the way forward in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the state.
She said the state has seen the reduction in HIV/AIDS prevalence from 6.4 to 2.0 due to the effective awareness created by NASA with media support and has requested more synergies in this direction.
She called on the media to adopt a factual, non-judgmental style of reporting that would help maintain the health and support of those infected and affected by the virus in society, particularly women and youth.
“The goal of Train Exposure is to familiarize journalists and media practitioners from the broadcast, print and online media with the basics of HIV/AIDS reporting and to teach them the correct words and languages to use when reporting on the disease that would encourage positive living and give hope to people living with the virus.
“We work with the media because communication is very important and important for everyone, especially the youth, by focusing on achieving zero infection virus.” remarked dr. bello.
However, she warns journalists of the impact of negative reporting on HIV/AIDS and urges them to become familiar with terminology and language that would not prevent those living with the virus from living well.
Presenting his talk, NASACA’s Prevention Officer, Dr. Eze Okwudili that contrary to popular perception that HIV/AIDS is a death sentence for those infected, many people who live with the virus and manage it well live healthy lives like any other person.
He encouraged journalists to develop programs that would encourage people to take preventive action against HIV.
Speaking on behalf of the print and electronic media participants, Hajiya Hadiza Dahiru, Director Programs Nasarawa Broadcasting Service (NBS) Lafia, commended NASACA for turning the training into reality, noting that the knowledge gained during the training was adequate is put into practice.