The Lagos State Aids Control (LSACA) has commenced the sensitization of religious leaders across the five divisions of Lagos State on HIV /AIDS Prevention and Stigma Reduction.
HSENations reports that the sensitization programme of the religious leaders on HIV /AIDS prevention and stigma reduction took place on Wednesday at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ikeja.
The CEO of the Agency, Dr. Monsurat Adeleke while addressing participants at the event pointed out the need to collaborate with religious leaders across the State because of their influence on members of the public.
She described them as important stakeholders whose position can help drive the initiative even further, stating that the stigmatization of people living with HIV /AIDS occurs everywhere around us.
Dr. Monsurat Adeleke stated that the 90-90-90 Initiative of WHO stipulates that 90% of people living with HIV should know their status and that 90% of these people after knowing their status should start medications by having access to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART).
She also revealed that the Agency is planning to double its efforts to increase its HIV Testing Services (HTS) in order to reduce the spread of the virus. Dr. Oladipupo Fisher who also spoke at the programme disclosed that there is an Anti- Stigma Law in Lagos State which clearly makes it unlawful for anyone to discriminate against those suffering from the virus.
He urged the religious leaders to be part of the control of AIDS at the community level by sensitizing their members.
The CEO maintained that the issue of stigma against HIV positive individuals remains the greatest challenge to curbing the spread of HIV /AIDS,calling on the religious leaders to join hands with government to change the narratives.