At least 700,000 adults out of the 4.3 million population of people in Benue State are still living with HIV/AIDS, Weekly Trust learnt yesterday.
Of the number which excluded children, only 50,000 persons living positively with the virus are registered with the Benue Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS.
Benue State Coordinator for PLWHA, Stephen Yongo revealed this at a one-day HIV/AIDS Review Meeting of Media Forum organized by the Ministry of Information and Orientation in conjunction with Benue State Action Committee on AIDS (BENSACA).
Yongo in a paper presentation entitled “Stigma, Discrimination and Their Implications on HIV/AIDS Programming”, explained that the 2010 sentinel report puts Benue at 12.7 per cent on HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.
He said his association has sent an Anti-Stigmatization Bill to the State Assembly to seek punitive measures against willful infection of innocent people by those already living with the virus.
Earlier, Executive Secretary of BENSACA, Mrs. Grace Ashi Wende solicited strong partnership with the media in the campaigns against HIV/AIDS as they plan this year’s World AIDs Day with the theme “Take Charge of Your Life, know your HIV Status”.
Source: Weekly Trust