HIV/AIDS: Group urges Federal Government, States to procure self-testing kits for citizens

HIV/AIDS: Group urges Federal Government, States to procure self-testing kits for citizens

by Joseph Anthony
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The Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (CiSHAN) has called on government in all the three tiers to procure self-testing kits to help increase testing for the virus in the country.

Besides, the group also urged the government to, as a matter of urgency, disseminate the HIV self- testing guidelines.

These, the group argued in a statement, would help bridge the HIV testing gap and ensuring that the country achieve ninety (90%) percent testing target for 2030.

The statement which was signed by the group Executive Secretary, Dr. Walter Ugwuocha also noted availability of the self-testing kits will further provide access to people who don’t feel comfortable going to health facilities for testing.

He said: “Availability of HIV self-test kit in Nigeria is a welcome development as it will facilitate access of persons. It will also facilitate HIV testing as many times as any individual wants.

“The National rollout of the HIV self-testing programme in Nigeria can help close the huge HIV testing gap and ensuring the country achieves the first 90 in the HIV response.

“CiSHAN calls on the Federal ministry of Health, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and various state ministries, agencies and departments involved with the HIV/AUDS response to disseminate the HIV self testing guidelines urgently.

“CiSHAN call on all state governments to procure self-test kits and deploy same to institutions of learning, place of worship and facilitate its use during oytreaxhes to community members as a way to Bridge the gap in HIV testing coverage.”

Also, the group mandates all its state chapters to develop a plan on how the information of the HIV self m-testing will be disseminated to the grass m-riot communities.

CiSHAN also urged the media to join in enlightening the general public on the HIV self- testing services availability in Nigeria.

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