The Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), on Wednesday, began a two-day HIV Testing Service (HTS) and sensitisation programme for members of the Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), Surulere Chapter.
Addressing participants at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of LSACA, Dr. (Mrs.) Monsurat Adeleke reaffirmed Lagos State Government’s commitment to the development and wellbeing of the Adolescent and Youth Population (AYP), a group most vulnerable to HIV infection.
Dr. Adeleke noted that in a bid to eliminate new infections, discrimination and AIDS-related deaths, the Agency is scaling up community outreach campaign in order to achieve the virus eradication in Lagos State by 2030, using the UN 90-90-90 initiative which means that 90% of the people must know their HIV status; 90% of those that know their status must have access to Anti-retroviral treatment and 90% on Anti-retroviral must have suppressed viral load of the virus and would not be able to infect others.
She, therefore, noted that the LSACA is providing massive HIV Testing Services (HTS) to auto-mechanics and their apprentices in Surulere Local Government as they fall within the Adolescent and Youth Population which are vulnerable to HIV infection.
Adeleke stated that the HTS will afford them the opportunity to know their status early, take appropriate steps to prevent transmission and stop the progression to AIDS through necessary lifestyle modifications.
The outreach, according to her, would be conducted simultaneously at two different centres: Pako-Aguda and Itire-Ikate in Surulere LGA with over 250 persons expected to be tested and sensitised on infection, prevention and control, noting that the decentralisation is for easy accessibility and in conformity with the physical distancing law of the State government.
While appreciating the Lagos State Government for the gesture, the Chairman of NATA, Surulere chapter, Mr. Olugbenga Akinwale expressed his appreciation for the outreach and promised to mobilise his members to partake in the free HTS as early testing is important.