The Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), in collaboration with the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), has conducted Free HIV Testing Services (HTS) for LAWMA staff.
Addressing the participants at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Dr. (Mrs.) Monsurat Adeleke, stated that LSACA, being a trailblazer, has led the HIV response in the country with the support of the Government and implementing partners, noting that the implementation of the workplace policy on HIV/AIDS will increase HIV prevention awareness campaigns and reduce stigma in the State.
Dr. Adeleke recalled that the State government in 2016, signed on to the Global target of HIV epidemic control and eradication of new HIV infections by the year 2030, through the Joint United Nation Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) revised 95-95-95 initiative, hence, the need for the adoption and the implementation of the workplace policy on HIV/AIDS.
She informed the staff that there are 288 HIV Testing sites across the State for every resident to get tested and know their HIV status in order to achieve the first 95% of the revised UNAIDS 95-95-95 initiative, thus, the need for collaboration with LAWMA.
The CEO noted that in the cause of discharging their duties, LAWMA field workers are exposed to occupational hazards such as pricks by infected sharp objects, which predisposes them to HIV and other infectious diseases.
She emphasised that the current administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is committed to the wellbeing of the citizenry, especially the productive age group, who account for about 43% of the State population, adding that the Governor, who doubles as the Chairman of the Agency, has provided the required resources needed to ensure increased awareness and uptake of HIV services across the State with the distribution of Information, Education and Communication materials.
In line with the Agency’s mandate, Dr. Adeleke assured the 25,000 formal and informal staff of LAWMA of the confidentiality of their HIV results and that those that tested positive will be linked to HIV care and treatment, while educating them on the use of Oral HIV self-testing kits, even in the comfort of their homes.
Expressing gratitude to the government for being concerned about their health and wellbeing, Mrs. Taibat Aminu, a street sweeper and Mr. Faruk Aderibigbe thanked LSACA for enlightening them more on HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment.