A Nationwide HIV Self Testing Campaign, Getting 10 Million Nigerians to know their HIV Status through Self Testing has been launched.
The Executive Secretary, Civil Society for HIV /AIDs in Nigeria (CISHAN), Walter Ugwuocha who made this known at a virtual media round table said the campaign was aimed at increasing the number of Nigerians who have tested for HIV by 2020.
He also noted that the campaign was geared towards creating awareness and demand for HIV self-testing in Nigeria.
Ugwuocha observed that the Nigerian AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (2018) results showed that Nigeria was lagging behind in achieving the 1st 95 of the 95-95-95 target by 2030.
“Prior to the lockdown, there had been challenges with thinking around how to address the gap with populations access to HIV testing and identifying the unreached HIV positive population.”
“The need to evolve community driven HIV testing strategies was further re-affirmed by the anecdotal field reports by CISHAN during the lockdown.”
Walter Ugwuocha said the programe would Identify newly diagnosed HIV positive individuals and link them to treatment in partnership with the Lead Implementing Partners for each state as well as Increase in uptake of PrEP by persons at substantial risk of HIV infection.
“Through its over 5000 members located in the 774 local government areas of Nigeria, CISHAN with the support of the media will facilitate access to HIV self-testing kits in both rural and hard to reach areas/populations.”
On her part, Country Director,Centre for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP), Dr Bola Oyeledun. said the organisation is a leading indigenous non-governmental organization established to promote better health outcomes for all Nigerians through creation of strong and sustainable health systems.
“We evolved from Columbia University’s International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP) in 2010 and has continued to support family-focused, comprehensive high-quality, HIV/AIDS care and treatment activities in Nigeria .”
“Till date we have tested over two million people using conventional testing approaches nad we have right over a hundred thousand on treatment.” she added.