A large number of 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in 27 camps in Borno are currently living with HIV/AIDS. Mr Hassan Mustapha, the Coordinator on HIV/AIDS in Borno, said this in an interview in Maiduguri on Thursday.
He said that most of the patients were women who were rescued from captivity in Boko Haram camps. The coordinator, however, said that some of those affected were not effectively accessing anti retroviral therapy because of stigmatisation. He lamented that many of them had died of the scourge because they were not properly counselled and sensitised on the need to enrol under the HIV/AIDS control programme.
“We have more than 1, 000 patients in Bama camp and 3, 000 in Gwoza camp while over 1, 000 others are taking refuge in the host communities. “We have heard of many supporting NGOs in Borno but none of them has approached us to offer assistance to the IDPs living with the virus. “The IDPs living with such ailment are constantly challenged; they do not go out to access drugs. “ Most of them are shy while some are afraid to be identified by others as carriers. “They sometimes complain to us that they are not allowed to go out of the camp to access drugs in other centres. “The honest truth is that government is not paying priority attention to the plight of such persons,” said Mustapha.