Government has been urged to increase funding to support People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and partners working in the area of increasing education on HIV to achieve the global campaign for safer motherhood and a generation of healthy, HIV-free babies.
Making the call recently was Mrs. Kadiri Oluseyi, Executive Director, Centre for Positive Health Organisation, Lagos State (CEPO) under the platform of Abidjan – Lagos – Corridor (ACOL) further canvassed for support and reduction of stigmatisation of People Living With HIV/AIDS.
According to her, support from government through increased funding and access to anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs will help to ameliorate the travails of PLWHA, especially pregnant mothers and help in the elimination of Mother-To- Child- Transmission (eMTCT) of HIV.
Oluseyi said: “Government should support the People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and partners working in the area of HIV, support groups with funds.
“Being a PLWA, is not an easy task. PLWA is faced with a lot of discrimination. For instance, a lady came to us and complained that she was sacked from work because she is positive.
“Government should put more efforts to address on stigmatisation. There should be intensive education on eliminating discrimination of PLWA. ”
The CEPO/ ACOL is working towards HIV prevention, maternal health, tuberculosis prevention, treatment, care and support at the community level.
“Our focus is that information reaches every individual about HIV counselling, testing and treatment, and also access care and support. Most especially those that are tested positive. All tested to be HIV positive must be treated with equal right. We Stand for justice,” the Executive Director said.
“Some difficulties faced is that most of the PLWA are always upset, not owning up to their status or visiting the hospital in line with the directive of their psychosocial counsellor. Some of them often refuse to be counselled or receive drugs, we don’t give up, we counsel the PLWA on the risk involve of his or her action and also the community. But, I believe with persistent information, they often succumb.”
“Getting infected is one thing and accepting the result is another, likewise taking it upon oneself to live a positive life is also another thing. First, they need to accept that they are positive and second, is access to treatment. By the time they are beginning to access treatment and now fully in charge of themselves, knowing that they have to start treatment and live a positive life, they need to avoid getting fresh infection or getting other people infected, definitely, the information would have become valuable.
Mrs. Salami Bukola, Psychosocial Counsellor Abidjan- Lagos Corridor, on her part said: ” We monitor and follow-up PLWA, counsel them to accept their result and register to receive ARV drugs. We don’t force the PLWA, rather we tell them the negative impact of not registering and adhering to the prescription of the ARV.
“The drugs are free, but not all the tests are free. The two most important that are free is CD4 and Viral Load. We have recorded great success in this project. The PLWA pregnant mothers give birth to negative children.
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