Victor Omoshehin has witnessed dramatic improvements in Nigeria’s HIV response.
“Patients used to wait over four hours to see a doctor, leaving endless queues at treatment sites across the country,” said Mr Omoshehin. “Some people living with HIV were crossing over two local government areas, and in some cases, traveling to other states to pick up their drugs because of stigma.”
Ailton Lima is a young Cabo-verdian living with HIV. At the time that he was diagnosed, in 2003, there was not much information available about the disease. Ailton explains, “We knew it existed, and we heard some foreigners talking about it.”
December 1st marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, and on this occasion everyone is reminded to “know your status”. Despite the fact that testing is readily available, today 1 out of 4 people living with HIV still do not know that they have contracted the virus.
Sousa Chilaule, 46, widower and father of a 23-year-old girl, has been living with HIV/AIDS for almost 20 years. Even without confirmation of the diagnosis, he says that his wife, who died in 1998, “was a victim of HIV/AIDS as well”.