Ogun State Government has unveiled HIV self-test kits, which will be available across the State, to avail individuals the opportunity to take HIV test in their homes or other private locations, thereby increasing awareness of the infection for people who are reluctant to know their status.
Wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, while speaking during the launch of the kits, commemorating the 2020 World AIDS Day with the theme; United to End AIDS in the Midst of COVID-19, at the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Complex in Abeokuta, said it was imperative for everybody to embrace the HIV self-test kit, so that they could derive maximum benefit from early antiretroviral treatment.
Represented by the Wife of the Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Mrs Bolanle Oluomo, Mrs. Abiodun stated that “this HIV self-test kit is a unique formula which I feel everyone should embrace, without necessarily going to the hospital to know their HIV status”.
In her remarks, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker said Ogun State is the first in the country to launch the HIV self-test kit, adding that in Africa, only Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe have done same, noting that the State would not relent in the provision of Anti-retroviral drugs (ART) for people living with HIV in the State, as well as testing and counselling.
Earlier in his presentation, the Executive Secretary/Project Manager, Ogun State Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr. Kehinde Fatungase noted that the importance of the kits was numerous, as it provides easy accessibility, utmost confidentiality and privacy to the users.
In his goodwill message, the Coordinator, Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (CISHAN), Ogun State Chapter, Mr. Tayo Akinpelu said his organisation was proud to identify with Ogun State, owing to its giant strides in reducing the spread of HIV despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contributing, the State Coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NEPWAN), Mr. Manasseh Tyoshom appreciated the State government for its unwavering support and care for people living with HIV in the State.