Having worked relentlessly in Benue in the last six years, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has promised that it would do more to make Benue State an Aids-free society by the year 2030.
Acting Country Programme Manager of the Foundation, Dr. Greg Abiaziem, gave the promise during the celebration of AHF’s 30th years anniversary and six years of active service in Benue State and Nigeria, held at the Precious Conference Center, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Abiaziem disclosed that since its coming into Benue six years ago, AHF had ensured that people in rural areas know their HIV status and have access to live saving ART across ten local government areas through its activities of saving lives, giving hope to the hopeless, giving voice to the voiceless and impacting the lives of over 8000 people living with HIV/AIDS.
He recalled that many years ago, HIV and AIDS epidemic brought illnesses, uncertainty, fear and death as the world faced a new and unknown virus, but posited that the story had changed stressing that, “today‘s achievements are a result of the dogged commitments of individuals, organisations and governments like the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).”
He revealed that the organisation is providing HIV/AIDS healthcare services, including anti retroviral treatment to over 830,000 people living with the virus in 38 countries of the world.
”Today, AHF is the largest global AIDS organization which now provides HIV/AIDS services, including antiretroviral treatment, to more than 830,000 people in 38 countries including Nigeria at different clinics like Masaka, Mombasa, Gbajimba, Unzuughul Agu centers among others.
”To be sure, we have indeed come far in HIV treatment to the point where an HIV patient receiving recommended treatment is no longer able to transmit the virus to another person. People who are positive are having healthy babies who are HIV negative, and, generally, persons living with the virus are having longer life expectancy and living productive lives. We face many challenges still, but with determination and more commitment, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.”
In a goodwill message, the Benue state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Cecilia Ojabo, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Sunday Ochejile, commended AHF for its contribution in the fight against the HIV/AIDS scourge in the state and assured that state government would continued to partner with the foundation in order to keep the service going.