The Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Aids Control Agency (LSACA), Dr. (Mrs.) Monsurat Adeleke has called on all residents of Lagos State, especially Adolescents and Young Persons (AYP) between the ages of 15-24 years to access free HIV Testing Services (HTS) so that they can determine their HIV status.
Dr. Adeleke gave the charge at an outreach sensitisation targeting the AYP at the Ikeja City Mall and environs in view of the prevailing valentine celebration, noting that that Ikeja has the second-highest prevalence (3.1%) amongst adolescents and adults between 15-64 years, according to the 2018 Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey.
She added that inline with the second pillar of the Lagos State Government T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, the Agency has mapped out an effective intervention strategy for reducing the HIV incidence in the State through “Behavioral Change Communication” amongst other approaches aimed at the Adolescent Youth Population (AYP) as one of the key focus groups for evidence-based intervention activity.
In her words, “Lagos State government intends to focus on individuals having access to HIV testing services in order to ensure that everyone knows their HIV status. There is a need to encourage Lagosians to take appropriate measures such as lifestyle modification and behaviour change amongst others in order to minimise the risk of transmitting HIV and moving closer to controlling and ending the epidemic”.
The highlight of the outreach include counselling of adolescents and young persons, particularly girls on essential facts about HIV. Many people were also screened for HIV using either the oral self-test kit where samples were collected through mouth swabs or the routine HIV test kit utilising blood samples.