‘HIV no longer a killer disease in Benue’
Executive Secretary of Benue State AIDS Control Agency (BENSACA), Grace Achi Wende, has said that the Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV) has been totally demystified through state wide mass awareness campaign.
Wende stated that the level of awareness about HIV in Benue is so high that the ailment is no longer life threatening because both young and old in the state have been educated on how to prevent or receive correctional treatment.
Briefing journalists in Makurdi on the success story of BENSACA in reversing Benue’s prevalence record of the virus known to be above national average, she explained that the state deliberately prioritized HIV prevention as well as Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) as core interventions to halt the epidemic.
“We have been able to totally demystify HIV in Benue. People are no longer afraid of the condition. This is because we have been able to sensitize the people, at various levels especially with the help of support groups who help to carry sensitization messages to the people at all times. Today, nobody in Benue discriminates against any one living positive, because the state assembly has enacted a law criminalizing discrimination against persons living with the virus,” she said.
She further explained that apart from targeted intervention, BENSACA has continued to carry out HIV and AIDS response program through a two-tier system of administration in line with the state’s administrative structure. The executive secretary added that the state HIV and AIDS response covered rural areas, through partnership with Local Government Authority Action Committees on AIDS (LACAs).