Jide Afolabi, Jos
The Plateau State AIDS Control Agency (PLACA), Civil Society Organisations and international donors Friday celebrated the World AIDS Day in the state.
The event kick started with a mass rally which took off around the Central Bank of Nigeria through the city centres including the ever busy Ahmadu Bello Way, Terminus, Murtala Way and ended at the Old site of the Jos University Teaching Hospital.
The height of this year’s event was an awareness program held at the APIN Hall where different stakeholders working in the area of HIV/AIDS came together to sensitise the public on prevention and treatment.
A paper was presented by Dr. Luret Lar of the Department of Community Health, University of Jos on HIV/AIDS in Plateau State and World AIDS Day.
The erudite scholar traced the history of the deadly disease and the indices.
She established that Nigeria has the second highest prevalence rate in the world and that Plateau state currently have 5% rate.
She encouraged civil society organisations and donors to pay more attention to awareness and prevention campaigns.
The Executive Director, Plateau State AIDS Control Agency, Mr. Sunday highlighted the agencies activities in combating HIV/AIDS in the state and thanked all partners for their efforts.
To further mark the day, HIV screening centres were put in place outside the gate of Old JUTH for general public. The centres provided services including testing, counseling and referral among others, free of charge.
Goodwill messages were taken from APIN, Save the Children – Nigeria, Institute of Human Virology in Nigeria, CISHAN, NEPWAN. Various stakeholders at the event promised to redoubled their efforts in combating the menace in the state.