.2m People Living With HIV/AIDs In Rivers

More than 200,000 persons are living with HIV/AIDs in Rivers State while 38,000 have been placed on treatment.

Also new and more efficient drug for the treatment of HIV/AIDs has come on board.

Head, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Rivers State Agency for Control of AIDs (RIVSACA) Dr. Isaiah Moses, disclosed this at the 7th memorial service organized for people living with HIV/AIDs by the HIV/AIDs Education Development Centre (HAEDC) in Bori, Rivers State.

He said the drug is more effective and has less side effects compared to the ones in use presently.

Dr. Moses said the new drug suppresses the viral load and renders the disease undetectable within two months of usage, stressing that persons with the suppressed virus could have unprotected sex without transmitting it to their partner.

Local Government Action Committee AIDs (LACA) manager, Tenalo Stephen, who represented Dr. Francis Naaziga, Project Manager, RIVSACA, said the drug (name withheld) had been in use, stressing that the Rivers State Government administers it free of charge on those living with HIV/AIDs.

He encouraged those living with the virus to take advantage of the free offer to present themselves for tests and treatment.

Stephen praised Lady Gloria Tornwini Theophilous, founder HIV/AIDs Education Development Centre (HAEDC) for collaborating with government, saying 98% of HIV/AIDs intervention and response is donor-driver.

Lady Gloria Tornwini Theophilous, founder of HAEDC and organizer of the memorial service said the event was the 7th so far, stressing that she was doing it to give succour and hope to the handicapped in the society.

She told our correspondent that she comes home every December from the USA to organize the programme using he personal finances.

“It has become part of me and I will remain committed to this service”, she said.

Rev. FR. Solomon Okadi in charge of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Bori where the memorial service took place prayed for those living with the virus and those who had died of it, asking God to take care of them.

Highlights of the programme were presentation of gifts, food and other items to those living with HIV/AIDs and crowning of Lady Gloria Theophilous as Queen of Ogoni by Ogoni Chapter of Network of People Living with AIDs in Nigeria (NEPWAN).

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