World AIDS day observed on December 1
"Thus, we must intensify our collective efforts to meet the serious challenges to eliminating the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people in Nigeria and Lagos State, in order to move towards a HIV-free generation by 2020", Dabiri said.
The SACBC AIDS Office is marking the 1 December anniversary with Candle Lighting, prayers for those affected by HIV and distribution of information leaflets to the public.
The theme for the 2018 World AIDS Day commemoration is "Know Your Status" which brings into spotlight the importance of urging people to know their HIV infection status by getting tested.
- About 35 million people have died from AIDS- or HIV-related illnesses since 1981, including 940,000 in 2017. Doing so can help people with and at risk of HIV access the care they need - be it for TB, mental health, hepatitis or another disease.
"Know your status" is the campaign slogan for this year's World AIDS Day, which is celebrated today, December 1. The aim of the event was to sensitize people from all walks of life on HIV/AIDS and motivate them to come forward and get tested to know about their HIV status while ensuring that all HIV positive cases are put on treatment.
Adebayo while lamenting low rate of HIV testing, disclosed that only 22 million out of over 37 million people now affected are undergoing treatment. The virus can be also transmitted from mother to child.
Currently, one third of people with HIV in Latin America and the Caribbean only get diagnosed after becoming ill and symptomatic, when their immunity has already been seriously compromised and after exposing their sexual partners to possible transmission of HIV.
Unfortunately, many barriers to HIV testing remain. More people living with HIV are now receiving treatment that is allowing them to live longer, healthier lives. "However the rate of new infections among young people remains alarmingly high", she said.
HIV testing programmes must be expanded.
She stated that one out of four persons infected with HIV might not know for about two - four years. However, it is also an important reminder that despite progress made, the world can not become complacent in its response to HIV.