‘70% of HIV positive persons do not disclose status’


HIV vaccineUyo (NAN) The Focal Officer, Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, Mrs Akon Udofia, on Wednesday disclosed that more than 70 per cent of persons living with HIV/AIDS in the state were not comfortable disclosing their status.

She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo that the fear of stigmatisation and discrimination was very high in the state.

Udofia, who works in one of the PMTCT sites of Akwa Ibom Ministry of Health, says “most women we have counselled do not want to tell their husbands.

“Most couples counselled attribute their status to witchcraft attack; they deny their status and often exclaim the blood of Jesus.’’

She said the ante-natal services at the PMTCT site had been well patronised by pregnant women.

Udofia disclosed that a total of 928 pregnant women had received counselling and drugs from the site in the last six months.

She said that every week, the site counselled an average of 40 mothers on its clinic days.

The focal officer said the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS was achievable if the mothers adhered strictly to advice on their drugs.

She appealed to religious leaders to encourage their members who were mothers to patronise government-approved ante natal clinics to forestall complications arising from ignorance.

She added that “the Church should pray but delivery of babies should be left in the hands of trained health personnel.’’

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