Gombe State Agency for the Control of Aids (GOMSACA) has urged traditional and religious leaders to always sensitize and enlighten the people on mode of transmission of HIV and AIDS in their communities.
The project manager of the agency, Dr. Suraj Abdulkareem, who made the call in Gombe yesterday while on an advocacy visit to the palace of Mai Kaltungo, said the campaign on HIV and AIDS has been going on for a long time, noting that research shows that most people are still not aware of the transmission of the disease.
He advised the people as matter of urgency to know their status saying there are many HIV counseling centres established by the government across the state to enable people to be free from the disease and urged the intending couples to know their status six months before weeding.
According to him, most intending couples go for testing few days to their wedding, and explained that at that period, if one is in the window period, the virus will not reflect in the test.
While commending the traditional rulers for the effort in curtailing the spread of the disease which he said, had reduced from 4.2 percent to 3.4 percent, affirmed that the fight against the disease is not over until it is brought to the barest minimum.
Speaking at the event, the state director, National Orientation Agency Alhaji MatoYakubu, called for more male involvement in the HIV prevention programmes and to support women to attend ante-natal regularly, saying the behavioral change among the people especially, towards people living with the virus, by showing them love and care.
In a goodwill message, both Reverend Stephen Gana and Sheikh Inuwa Lamido said the disease is not a respecter of status, age or class but is deadly to humans, and called on the people to shun stigma and discrimination of people living with the virus.
Responding, the Wazirin Kaltungo, who received the team on behalf of the Mai Kaltungo, Alhaji Mohammed InuwaWaziri commended the team for the visit and urged the people to pass the message to the unreached.