HIV prevention in Oyo State has received a boost with over 200 traditional birth attendants and community leaders from Lagelu and Ona ara Local government areas sensitised on the need to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child and regular HIV testing.
Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Azeez Adeduntan at the sensitisation meeting in Ibadan said the sensitisation at these local governments was to ensure that HIV prevention messages also get to people at the grassroots.
Adeduntan, speaking through the Oyo State’s PMCTC focal person, Mrs Modupe Oladele urged that they continue to urge people to get tested for HIV, been that the virus is real.
The Commissioner, saying that HIV test is free in all government health facilities, declared that the workshop will teach them about HIV, its prevention and treatment, including its transmission from mother to unborn babies.
PHC Coordinator, Lagelu Local government, Mrs Yemisi Esan, remarked that many pregnant women that are detected to be HIV positive run to deliver their babies with traditional birth attendants.
According to her: “If you do not ensure that all pregnant women in your care know their HIV status, you will be exposing yourself, other pregnant women and their unborn babies to contracting the virus.
“Even as traditional birth attendants, you also must get tested for HIV every six months to know your HIV status,” she added.
Esan stressed that they should not assume that there is no longer HIV, urging those found HIV positive to get treated.
According to her, “HIV needs not kill; it is no longer a death sentence.”
Lagelu LACA Manager, Mrs Temitope Akinola stressed that unlike diseases like malaria, testing is key to knowing those that have the HIV virus.
Akinola, who spoke on basic facts on HIV prevention, declared that the virus is acquired through many means such as unprotected sex and sharing of sharp objects and as such its name.
She warned against stigmatising persons living with HIV, saying this had further contributed to the spread of the infection.
in the community and seeking treatment and
Akinola assured “many things kill faster than HIV, so person living with HIV should not be stigmatised but shown love,
While urging that TBA ensure that all pregnant women get tested for HIV, she declared “Health is wealth; only health people can work. One HIV test done will save at least two lives.”