A non-governmental organization, Reach The Peak Initiative (RPI), has charged people living with HIV/AIDS across the country to “live every moment of their lives being happy.”
The NGO gave the charge at an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign with students of Comprehensive Senior High School, Alapere and Community Senior High School, Alapere both in Kosofe local government area of Lagos state in commemoration of World’s AIDS Day 2019.
Speaking on the theme: “Communities make the difference,” Pharmacist Olajumoke Erinle, said awareness on HIV/AIDS became very necessary for the young ones as Nigeria is among the countries worst hit by the disease.
“Knowledge is power as they say; with awareness like this, people can actually know the effect of HIV on humans and ways they can prevent it.
“With ongoing efforts on awareness, counseling and testing, I believe there will be reduction in the spread of HIV,” Ms. Erinle said.
She further encouraged those living with HIV/AIDS not to see the disease as the end of the world but live every moment of their lives being happy.
‘’Living with HIV/AIDS is not the end of the world. They should live every moment of their lives being happy; do things they have always dreamed of doing; take their medications regularly and spread the words to enlighten others,” she added.
She however warned that “if proper preventive and control measures are not put in place, the HIV will continue to spread to unimaginable level.”
Also speaking at the event, the Founder of Reach the Peak Initiative (RPI), Adeyemi Olalemi, said communities include peer educators, networks of people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, people who inject drugs and sex workers, women and young people, students, counselors, community health workers, and civil society organizations, among others.
He added that communities make the difference in the global awareness on HIV and by contributing to the AIDS response in many different ways.
He noted that ‘’their leadership and advocacy ensure that the response remains relevant and grounded, keeping people at the centre and leaving no one behind in fighting against the disease.”
He stressed that RPI is working on synergising with other NGOs and relevant government agencies to increase awareness, counseling, and voluntary testing for all across the country.
A statement signed by RPI spokesperson, Oluwatomiwa Ogunmade, said the event featured interactive sessions with the students on the causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment of HIV/AID.
It added that field activities were also held with the students who displayed different placards on HIV/AIDS Awareness and also formed the red ribbon – the global symbol of solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS – on the school field.