UNIMED Teaching Hospital, Ondo State has joined the rest of the world to celebrate this year World AIDS Day.

In a bid to mark the pivotal impact of communities in shaping the HIV response, every December 1st, has been set aside by WHO to celebrate World AIDS Day.

Speaking with Dr. Folashade Jegede from the Department of Hematology and Virology, UNIMEDTH said this year celebration serves as an opportunity to reflecting on the progress made to date, raise awareness about the challenges remained to achieve, and to mobilize all stakeholders to jointly redouble efforts to ensure the success of HIV response.

This year global theme is, Let Communities Lead, which reflects the Global recognition of the importance and significant roles communities leadership plays in driving the much-needed goals and targets to ending HIV/AIDS by 2030.

She described AIDS as an Acquired Deficiency Syndrome, a chronic immune system disease caused by the human immune deficiency virus called HIV while explaining further various symptoms of AIDS like fever, fatigue, headache, weight loss, loss of appetite.

She said that if anybody is experiencing such, It is advisable to come to facility for screening test to know his status.

More so, she spoke about prevention of AIDS through avoiding sharing of sharp objects like needles, blades, hair clippers and more importantly, avoiding risky sexual behaviors with multiple sexual partners.

According to her, this year World AIDS Day is more than a celebration of achievements of communities, but a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles to ending the menace.

Communities leadership roles need to be fully and reliably funded to enable the required scale up, and be properly supported and remunerated. Also, communities leadership roles need to be made the core in formulation of all HIV plans and programmes, budgeting and evaluation so as to have inclusion success stories.

Dr. Folashade Jegede unfolds how UNIMEDTH departments of Hematology and virology are working hand in hand with Community Medicine to educate community leaders about their roles toward eradicating AIDS in our society.

More so, the two departments harmoniously create awareness, educate the general public about the scourge, mobilize stakeholders to monitor implementation of polices and services, and to hold health providers accountable.

Akinjide Oluwatope
Head, Media and Publicity,
UNIMED Teaching Hospital
1st December, 2023

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