Osun State Agency for the Control of Aids (OSACA), has stated that the agency in collaboration with other stakeholders have been able to reduce the HIV prevalence in the state from the peak of 4.3% in 2001 to 1.6% in 2014, which is among the lowest in the country.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Dr. Mansur Bello stated this during the awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS, free counseling and testing at Ifon Osun, the headquarters of Orolu Local Government Area of the State of Osun.
Bello, who was represented by the Procurement Officer, OSACA, Mr. Julius Oyeleke, congratulated the organisers of the programme for deeming it fit to strengthen HIV response at the community level, saying the gesture would not only increase the awareness of HIV/AIDS but would also assist in reducing the transmission of HIV in Orolu Local Government.
He said, OSACA as an agency had been able to provide leadership for HIV response in the state through planning, co-ordination, monitoring and adequate supervision of stakeholders in the control and prevention of HIV.
Dr. Bello stated further that, OSACA through the World Bank Second HIV/AIDS Programme Development Project (HPDP) supported HIV stakeholders in the state to implement HIV prevention, care and support activities between year 2012 and 2017.
According to him, the agency also supported 31 Local Agencies for the Control of Aids (LACA) to conduct 1,269 community outreaches across the state through which 331,709 people were counseled, tested and 669 people were tested positive.
Dr. Bello equally lauded the present administration under the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who has demonstrated political will in the Control of HIV/AIDS by transforming SACA into an Agency in 2010 thus, providing a boost for the multi-sectoral response to HIV in the state.
He charged the management of Orolu Local Government under the leadership of the Chairman, Hon. Benson Adekunle, not to relent in the awareness campaign of HIV, saying it is sad that the council had HIV prevalence estimation of 1.3% in 2017 as against 0.2% in 2015.
Dr. Bello therefore charged other council chairmen to emulate Orolu Local Government and play their part by investing in the health of their citizens through provision of funds to LACAs.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman, Orolu Local Government, Hon. Benson Adekunle said his government had provided adequate measures to sensitise the people of the local government on how to avoid contacting and managing the disease.
Highlights of the occasion includes, free test, counseling, distribution of free drugs and other items like condom.