HIV rate in Plateau state is reducing- Agency

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The Plateau State Agency for the Control of Aids (PLACA), says the prevalence rate of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the state has drastically reduced.

Mr Sunday Markus, the Executive Secretary of the agency in the state, made the disclosure in Jos, the state capital.

He said statistics from the National HIV and Aids Indicator Impact Survey showed a drastic reduction in the spread of the virus in the state to 1.6 percent.

“Before now, Plateau is among the HIV high burden states in the country; but thank God the rate of the virus in the state has reduced. The rate of HIV in Plateau as at 2010 was 7.7 per cent; by 2015, it went down to 5.9 per cent, and as I speak to you, the rate has further gone down to 1.6 per cent. This simply means the work we are doing in PLACA is yielding positive result,” Markus said

According to the executive secretary, the state achieved the feat owing to the support given to the agency by the state Governor, Simon Lalong, who approved and released over N90 million as counterpart funds to the agency since assumption of office in 2015.

Markus, however, said it was not yet celebration time, insisting that the overall goal of the agency was the total eradication of the prevalence of the virus in the state.

“We don’t need to celebrate yet, because a lot still need to be done to sustain the position and avoid tendencies of high resurgence of the virus in the state,” he said.

He commended donor agencies for supporting the state in curbing the menace and called for more support from other international orgnisations.

Markus called on Plateau residents to go for regular checks to enable them ascertain their HIV status, saying such would go a long way in reducing the spread of the virus.

He also appealed to the people to desist from risky sexual behaviours.

Bilkisu Pai