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260,000 persons living with HIV/AIDS in Ebonyi — Commissioner

From: Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki

The Ebonyi State Commissioner for Health, Dr Daniel Umezuruike, on Friday, said that about 260,000 persons were infected by the HIV/AIDS disease in the state. Out of this figure, only 4,000 people, according to him, are currently living on drugs.

The Commissioner disclosed this in his office in Abakaliki at a press briefing to mark this year’s World AIDS Day. He disclosed that a total of 3.4million are infected by the virus nationwide out of which 600,000 patients are on drugs.

He further explained that 37.7 million people worldwide are living with the virus. This was even as he lamented that many people have not shown willingness to check their status to enable them embark on early treatment.

“It is note-worthy to clearly state that testing positive is not a death sentence but the beginning of a new life. People have lived with the virus for over 40 years as long as you live positively.

“Know your status and you will have the right to health which is the theme of this year’s World AIDS Day while concealing or not knowing your HIV status is your right to death” he declared.

Umezuruike disclosed that the state has a total of 202 HIV Health service facilities across the 171 wards in the state and called on the people to access the services free of charge.

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