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HIV: 50% of Gombe population unaware of status

Dr Suraj Abdulkarim, Programme Manager, Gombe State Agency for the Control of HIV and AIDS, GOMSACA, says 50 per cent of people in the state  do not know their status.

The Programme Manager, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Gombe on Thursday, stressed the need for people to visit designated health centres to carryout HIV test to know their status.

“Fifty per cent of the people in Gombe do not know their status, it is better to know and commence early management of the condition.

“There are dangers attached to late detection of HIV status, the immune system may have collapsed at this level,’’ he said.

He said that if one knew his or her HIV status and commenced early management in case of positive status, it would go a long way in curbing the condition.

Abdulkarim expressed concern over the dearth of HIV test kits at health facilities in the state, adding that the development posed serious threat to the health of the unborn children.

According to him, availability of such facilities would sustain the effort of the agency in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV-AIDS.

“There are about 27 facilities across in the states that are not offering the service; this is a serious threat to health of the people.

‘’Without the test kits, a pregnant woman infected by HIV-AIDS can easily transmit the condition to her unborn child thereby increasing the number of infected persons.”

Abdulkarim also emphasised the need for training and re-training of health workers to enable them deliver quality services to HIV-AIDS clients.

He recalled that the last time health workers delivering HIV/AIDS service were trained was in 2015, adding that significant numbers of them have retired while some left for greener pasture.

The programme manager further said that there were seven international donors supporting the prevention and treatment of the HIV-AIDS in the state three years ago, but that the number had reduced to two.(NAN)

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