Abuja - The Rivers State Government has
warned against discrimination and stigmatisation of persons living with
Deputy Governor, Ipalibo Banigo, said the government was
committed to tackling the challenges and promote community intervention and
She made the remarks during the just-concluded World Aids
Day Celebration at Isiokpo, Ikwerre Local Government Council of the state.
“It has become necessary to change the behaviour of the
people as the main drivers of the HIV/AIDs scourge by collaborating to end
dental, stigmatization, unsafe sexual behaviour and ignorance,” Banigo said.
She added that the State AIDS/STI Control Programme in
conjunction with the supporting partners had already embarked on massive
voluntary community testing campaigns in the 23 Local Government Areas of the
state to tackle prevalent issues.
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“We have created significant access to HIV services all
over the state. There are currently 45 comprehensive treatment centres in
the state and 20 of these treatments areas were set up within the first 100
days of this administration under the New Rivers Vision as a clear commitment
to improving patient outcome,” Banigo said.
She called on all and sundry to join hands with the State
Government in the fight against HIV/AIDs in the State and also avail themselves
of the opportunity of knowing their status through the free test programme.
“Let us collaboratively remain steadfast and resolute in
the pursuit of zero new infections to reach a future generation free of
HIV/AIDs, Banigo said.
Coordinator of Rivers State Action Committee on HIV/AIDs
(RIVSACA), Dr Okey Chimezie, said the time had come for the state to take
charge and allow Local Government Councils to shoulder some responsibilities in
the issue of HIV/AIDs control and management.
He lauded members of the Civil Society
Organisations for carrying the message to the rural communities, emphasizing
that HIV/AIDs positive persons could live normal life.
- CAJ News