As the globe marks World AIDS Day, being celebrated every 1st December, with the 2023 slogan: “Let Communities Lead,” the Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, IHVN, who also was Plateau State Labour Party, LP, governorship candidate.
Dr. Patrick Sunday Dakum, canvasses cooperation from communities in Plateau and the entire country to join in striving towards the actualization of the extinction of the dreaded disease by 2030 as planned by United Nations.
Dakum laments the high rate of the acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS, caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, despite the campaign awareness launched by UN since 1988.
According to him, 35 years of campaign awareness was enough to have drastically reduced the spread of the disease to the barest minimum, if not, its complete extinction in Africa, if the commitment, will power and determination were meticulously deployed.
He cautioned against reluctancy and carelessness in taking drastic measures by individuals in self prevention against HIV infection due to the presence of retroviral drugs; frowning at the abuse of the presence of the drug by so many people who engage in multiple unprotected sex thinking they are secured from the effects of the disease.
According to him, the mindset of feeling secured by retroviral drugs and engagement in unprotected sex will not stamp out the virus, but rather increase its spread.
And that the intake of the drug by patients on a daily basis until death is not palatable but cumbersome and can be fatal in the case of skipping days or time. Therefore, he added that the best thing is to stamp out the virus.
He said if the disease is not stamp out, the possibility of the virus developing drug resistance is there, and can be very disastrous if it happens. Hence, all preventive measures should strictly be adhered to such as: avoiding unprotected sex, using sterilized utensils e.g. needless, razor blades, barbing clippers and any other material that can transmit the virus.
Dakum also advocated against promiscuity and extramarital intercourse, adding that sticking to one sexual partner is one of the major ways of steming the spread of the disease.
Speaking on the 2023 slogan, “Let communities lead” Dakum said action should be taken to enable and support communities in leading the way toward the end of AIDS by 2030.
He expressed optimism that the world can end the public health threat by 2030 when community leadership full potentials are explored in campaign awareness with the massive support of the government right from hinterland to major cities with all verity and sense of responsibility.
Finally, he called on all citizens to ensure consistent medical checkups in order to nip in the bud any emerging incubating infection, to avoid self-medication, practice personal hygiene and environmental sanitation.
For those infected with HIV, he admonished them not to spread the virus in fury through multi unprotected sex, but to take the retroviral drugs regularly as prescribed by their doctors. And that AIDS patients should not be stigmatized, but encouraged as it will help them stay longer. Dakum Canvasses Cooperation to End Aids By 2030
1st December, 2023