By Sule Aliyu, Bauchi
The Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Malaria [BACATMA] has disclosed that 247, 990 people in the state have undergone screening for the Human Immune Deficiency Virus [HIV] out of which 4, 079 have been found to be positive from January to September this year.
Executive Secretary of the agency Dr Mansur Mustapha Dada who made the disclosure yesterday while briefing newsmen during the commemoration of this year’s world AIDS day in the state said the 2012 national AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey [NARHS] showed that about 43, 000 people in the state this represents 0.6 percent of the state’s population live with the disease.
He lamented that only 16, 459 of the infected persons turned up to receive treatment for the viral disease noting that taking treatment drugs would strengthen the immune system of the patients and enable them live a normal life like those with any other incurable ailments.
‘’Of the total number of persons counseled, tested and received results in the state this year, 107, 771 pregnant women were also screened out of which 181 were found positive and 382 babies were exposed to the virus’’. He revealed.
Dada further stated that some of the achievements recorded on HIV/AIDS response in the state were enactment of law by the state house of assembly against discrimination of HIV positive ‘clients’ and compulsory pre-marital screening for HIV and genotype as well as establishment of state of the art monitoring and Evaluation unit in the agency with a view to assessing the activities of government and other Non-Governmental organizations on the disease.
“However, one of our challenges is knowing the correct prevalence and incidence of HIV in the state, quality of data generated at health facilities, data transmission and use for decision making’’, he pointed out.