People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Taraba State yesterday staged a peaceful protest over their inability to access Anti Retroviral (ARV) drugs due to the ongoing strike by doctors at the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo.

State Co-ordinator of PLWHA, Johnson Abraham, who led his members to protest at the premises of the Federal Medical Centre Jalingo, said the facility where they usually access their drugs at the centre has been closed down due to the ongoing strike by doctors.

He lamented that the lukewarm attitude of the Taraba State government towards the plight of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS was the major reason for the spread of the disease.

He said the prevalence rate which used to be 5.8 per cent has increased to 10.5 per cent, adding that the situation will get out of hand if drastic steps are not taken by the relevant authority.

“The Taraba State government should be blamed for the increase in prevalence rate in the state; the issue of clients suffering from taking the refill of their ARV cuts across all facilities in the state. Government is not contributing anything to HIV/AIDS in the state. Advocacy carried out to sensitize the public has become a mirage. We have done advocacy and advocacy has failed”, he said.

He appealed to the management of the Federal Medical Center to as a matter of urgency resolve their internal crisis so as to allow PLWHA access their drugs, adding that “Persons taking the drugs are not supposed to default.”

But the state government through the Chief Press Secretary to the acting governor of Taraba State, Mr. Kefas Sule, denied the allegations, saying, “It is not true because only a few months ago, the state government approved the take off of Taraba Agency for the Control of Aids (TACA).”

He said the committee inaugurated by the government to tackle the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the state has commenced work.

On the strike by doctors at FMC, Kefas said though it is a federal institution, the acting governor has waded into the impasse to ensure that all lingering issues are resolve

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