The wife of Lagos State governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has called on Lagosians to desist from stigmatising persons living with HIV/AIDS, adding that there were laws in the state criminalising the act.
Stating this at the 2016 World AIDS Day commemoration with adolescents living with HIV in Lagos,organised by the Positive Action forTreatment Access (PATA) and the Lagos State AidsControl Agency (LSACA), she said since HIV was not contracted through physical contactslike hand-shaking or hugging, it was unnecessary to deliberately avoid people with the challenge.
She urged all relevant agencies in the state to work in synergy to address issues relating to stigma and discrimination against PLWHA those persons.
The governor's wife who commended LSACA and PATA for a two-week camping recently organised for young adolescents living with HIV,advised the beneficiaries to follow expert advice, medical instructions,and to apply good discretion in their social interactions.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, LSACA, p Dr. Oluseyi Temowo, called on Lagosians to go for testing in order to ascertain their HIV status, adding that the infection was not a death sentence, but that the earlier status was known, the better at managing it.
On his part, the Programme Manage, PATA, Mr. Francis Umoh lamented that much of the social and psychological needs of the young adolescents living with the virus were not met, stressing that they should be embraced and not isolated, and medication made available to them.
Special Adviser to the governor on Health, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, assured the adolescents living with the challenge, that they would not be abandoned by the state government.