The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has said a recent HIV/AIDS survey showed that Akwa Ibom and River states topped the chart in new cases reported in the last three months in the South South.
This comes as Nigerians have been reminded that despite the emergence of seemingly more serious epidemics, HIV/AIDS scourge still remained one of the major challenges to public health in the country.
Project Manager, Akwa Ibom State Action Committee on AIDS (AKSACA), Dr. Igbemi Igbemi, who spoke at an HIV Media Advocacy Platform in Uyo, called on journalists to assist bridge the information and awareness gap about HIV/AIDS to save lives.
“HIV is a social and behavioural problem, and anything that has to do with social and behavioural issues, communication is key. It is the information the society gets that will help people reflect on it, have access to the drugs, and the way to prevent it as well,” he said.
He described the recent passage of the bill to prohibit stigmatisation against persons living with HIV/AIDS into law by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly as a good development in the fight against the disease.
He also said with the law in place, his agency would review some of its activities as the law also sought to regulate the practice of HIV/AIDS counselling and testing in the state.
NACA’s representative at the event, Mr. Namso-owo Thomas, who said a recent survey revealed Akwa Ibom and River states as recording 75 per cent of new cases in three months to top the chart in the South South, said all hands must be on deck to halt its spread. He said HIV/AIDS was a multi-sectoral problem and that the agency was committed to the fight against the disease. He also appealed to the media to do more of societal awareness to bring about positive social change in the country.