Over 196,000 adolescents, representing 10 per cent of the global burden, are said to be living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria with a high estimated number of AIDS-related deaths, according to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund’s HIV Specialist, Dr. Victoria Isiramen. She said the children who were between the ages of 10 and 19 years must be co-opted into programmes to end the pandemic in the country, as they represent the crème and social capital of any society. Speaking during an advocacy meeting between 50 adolescents living positively with HIV from various states of the federation and the Lagos State Aids Control Agency (LSACA), in partnership with Positive Action for Treatment Access (PATA) and UNICEF, she called for stakeholders to put measures on ground to locate all adolescents in the country who were living with the virus in order for them to get prompt healthcare and awareness. Isiramen, who admonished the children to stand tall in the face of discrimination and stigmatisation, said: “you must understand that being positive with HIV is not your making, hence you must never let what people say or do against you weigh you down. Consider it that you are unique among other adolescents, as this will prompt you to achieve better in your life endeavours.”On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, LSACA, Dr. Oluseyi Temowo said the state was committed to eradicating HIV/AIDS from Lagos considering the scale up programmes currently going on across all local governments of the state.”Lagos State, since June this year has been committed to the global target of reducing the virus by 90 per cent on or before year 2020, and we are also working towards total eradication of the scourge by 2030. The target is achievable if we sustain the various intervention programmes currently being put in place,” he added.

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