The Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO), a non-governmental organisation, has called for sustained and intensified efforts to end the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic by 2030.
The Regional Officer, LAPO Surulere Region, Sandra Asowata, made the call while speaking at the 2016 World AIDS Day programme in Lagos.
Represented by the Client Relationship Manager, LAPO, Candy Ehizojie, said ending the scourge of HIV/AIDS was part of the sustainable Development Goals.
“We stand in solidarity with the 78 million people who have become infected with HIV and remember the 35 million who have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the first cases of HIV were reported.
“World Aids Day has been held on Dec. 1 every year since 1988. It is dedicated to raising awareness of the disease caused by the spread of HIV.
“Since it was launched, a tremendous amount of progress has been made in reducing the stigma still faced by many, and the number of people dying from AIDS-related illnesses since the first cases were reported,”she said.
According to her, the theme of this year’s event is Hands on for HIV Prevention and the campaign looks at ways to improve prevention strategies, identifying key areas among specific groups of people who are vulnerable to transmission adolescent girls and young women in particular.
Asowata said :”The number of new HIV infections is not declining among adults, with young women particularly at risk of becoming infected with HIV. But With access to treatment, people living with HIV are living longer.
“AIDS is not over, but it can be if we tailor the response to individual needs at particular times in life.
“Whatever our individual situation may be, we all need access to the tools to protect us from HIV and to access antiretroviral medicines should we need them.
“LAPO therefore urged you all to join in the fight to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the sustainable Development Goals.
” This is the time to move forward together to ensure that all children start their lives free from HIV, that young people and adults grow up and stay free from HIV and that treatment becomes more accessible so that everyone stays AIDS-free.”
Also speaking, Dr M. O. Ayegbusi, from the Ministry if Health,Agbado Oke Odo LCDA, educated the participants on the various ways HIV could be contracted and urged them to go for regular testing.
On his part, the president of Lagos State Barbers/ Hair Dresser and Cosmetologists Association,Mr Ijaoba Oladipupo, warned against sharing sharp objects and to always sterilise their instruments.