Authorities of the University of Ilorin, UNILORIN, said the efforts of the federal government towards the eradication of HIV/AIDS in the country would yield positive results.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Abdulganiyu Ambali, stated this during the World AIDS Day programme organised by the Nigerian Association of Microbiology Students, NAMS, University of Ilorin chapter.
The vice-chancellor, who was represented by a former Dean, Faculty of Sciences, Prof. B. L. Adeleke, said the government’s efforts in increasing public awareness will assist in keeping the infection rate down.
While urging the government not to relent in its efforts towards the eradication of the virus, Adeleke said “What we are doing today is a way of supporting government’s efforts in the eradication of HIV/AIDS in the country. This awareness is about the negative effect of the virus to every home in the society.”
He disclosed that as human beings, our health is paramount and we should do everything to sustain it, adding that what we can do for those that are living with the virus is to assist, support and not stigmatise them.
The vice-chancellor’s representative said, “For those yet to contact the disease, we need to sustain our health. We have to be careful. We cannot say we want to protect someone’s health and endanger our own life. This is a dangerous disease that could damage your health.
“So, do everything possible to protect your health. Know who you interact with and how, especially members of the opposite sex because you may not be able to retrieve your health if you allow yourself to be infected.”
Also speaking, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Dr. Joseph Fayeye, urged those not infected with the virus to avoid unprotected sex, receive regular check-ups and relate well with those who have contacted the virus, to assure them that having HIV does not mean a certificate of death.
Fayeye, who said that the disease does not have respect for anybody, also urged victims to come forward.
“For us to be safe means that we must be faithful to our partners. Abstinence is the key word here. We need to be careful. Let us spread the message and advise people to do regular check-ups. It is like a storm and we need to prepare for it.
“We must disabuse our minds from the belief that we cannot bring those who are infected closer. There is no way we can get to zero level of the virus if we keep those infected away from us.”
Fayeye, however, said that for the country to get to zero level, citizens must know their status, get involved in counselling and interact with those who are infected to let them know that they can live with it like any other human being.
In his opening remarks, the Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, Prof. A. Sani, represented by the Head of Department, Optometry and Vision Science, Prof. M.O. Oriowo, urged the students to value their body and be very cautious and protective.
Sani said the essence of the World AIDS Day programme is to teach students to desist from stigmatising anyone with the virus.
In their separate remarks, the President and General Secretary of NAMS, organisers of the event, Agbefawo Ahmad and Adesibikan Ololade, respectively, said the aim of the programme was to proffer solutions to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among youths.

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