The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mrs Ibukun Odusote today called on workers to ascertain their Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) status, for early detection and treatment.
Speaking during the event commemorating the 2018 World AIDS Day Sensitization Seminar held for the Ministry’s staff members she said, “Testing is the only way to know for sure if one has HIV. It is therefore critical that people get tested so as to find out their HIV status and seek early treatment.”
“Knowing one’s HIV status enables people to make informed decisions, especially with regard to the HIV prevention options available to them. In addition, it constitutes an essential entry point to HIV treatment, care and support services”, she emphasized.
Speaking further, the Permanent Secretary, who was represented by a Director in the Department of Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations, Mrs Amahian Jegbefumen, revealed that the Ministry, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, had put in place the National Workplace Policy on HIV andAIDS to protect people living with the virus against discrimination and stigma. This is in addition to other existing laws and policies.
She described the global theme for the 2018 World AIDS Day; “Know Your Status” as apt considering that many of those living with HIV are unaware that they have the virus.
In her remarks, the Director, Occupational Safety and Health Department in the Ministry, Dr Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, stated that the whole essence of the event was to continue to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS.
Dr Anyanwutaku further emphasized that the National Workplace Policy on HIV and AIDS provides guidelines for Government, Employers, Workers and other Stakeholders in the Workplace.
She encouraged workers to get tested regularly, at least once a year, to know their status.
The World AIDS Day is commemorated on the first of December to provide an opportunity for people world over to unite in the fight against HIV.