A survey conducted by a non-governmental organisation, Strengthening Integrated Delivery of HIV/AIDS Services, has indicated that about 65,185 persons in Akwa Ibom State are living with the disease
The health charity said it arrived at the result following a concurrent 10-year testing and counselling in 21 local government areas of the state.
The Deputy Director Technical, SIDHAS, Dr Pius Nwaokoro, who revealed the details of the survey in Uyo, said the state had achieved 90 per cent viral load suppression, while about 90 per cent of patients were also religiously taking their drugs.
He said those in this category could no longer transmit the virus. He said the NGO worked with patent medicine dealers in the rural areas, traditional birth attendants, community leaders in providing HIV services such as identification of infected persons and Index Case Testing in the villages.
“Since April 2019, SIDHAS has carried out HIV tests on 1,355,203 persons within the state, including people in rural areas while 65,185 persons test positive for HIV. “SIDHAS has achieved epidemic control in seven local governments of the state, including Uyo, Mbo, Okobo, Eastern Obolo, Ibeno.
“To enhance drug distribution to people in the hinterlands, the organisation has employed the services of patent medicine dealers to assist in the distribution of drugs to HIV positive patients.”
The Akwa Ibom Project Director, Family Health Insurance 360, Dr. Kolawole Olatunbosun, in his speech, disclosed that research was ongoing to see how HIV/AIDs patients could take their tablets once per week or per month for treatment