Military officers and officials of the United State government yesterday commenced a 3-day workshop in Abuja on how to fight HIV/AIDS scourge in the armed forces.
About 11, 014 HIV infected soldiers are currently receiving Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in 24 military clinics across the country.
The Chairman of the Emergency Plan Implementation Committee, Ministry of Defence, Major General Tahir Umar, said during the workshop that the Defence Ministry and the United States Department of Defence HIV programme was established in 2005 to provide care and services to patients in the armed forces and the civilian population within and around barrack vicinities.
He said the programme has been offering strategic information, laboratory services, care and treatment including ARV drugs.
"Considering greater challenges of future which includes halting and reversing the spread of HIV, this strategic plan workshop is therefore aimed at providing policy direction for our program for the next five years," he said, noting that the first strategic plan covered the period of two years, 2007-2009.
The Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, said the programme has since inception reduced the spread of the disease in the armed forces and communities living around them.
She said the programme should also strive to prevent the spread of other diseases like malaria and tuberculosis.
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