People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAs), have been advised to adhere to safety measures issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), to fend off likely Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Dr Gambo Aliyu, Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), gave the advice in a statement he signed on Saturday, in Abuja.
Aliyu stressed the need for PLWAs to maintain healthy lifestyle, which he said included reducing stress as much as possible.
“Wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20-40 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid crowds and large gathering of people.
“Cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away after use.
“Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough and stay home when you are ill,” Aliyu advised.
The NACA boss who described COVID-19 as a serious global respiratory disease, said people with weak body defence systems like the PLWAs, were likely to suffer serious consequences.
He explained though that there was currently no conclusive evidence that people living with HIV were more likely to contract COVID-19, or that the effects of the virus would be worse if they did.
Aliyu, however, said the situation did not call for complacency, urging PLWAs to continue to take all necessary precautions outlined by the WHO and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to protect themselves and others.
“If you are experiencing fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, please seek medical care immediately.”