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#Lockdown: Lockdown to enhance the rise of HIV, says expert.

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     If lockdowns and stay-at-home orders are succeeding in slowing the spread of the coronavirus, health experts warn that the measures could unintentionally undermine efforts to contain another potentially deadly disease: HIV.

       At the start of April, Travis Sanchez, an epidemiologist at Emory University, carried out an online survey of around 1,000 men and half of them reported a drop in the number of sexual partners, as well as reduced use of hook-up apps. In theory, this should reduce transmission. But he quickly added a disturbing warning: a quarter of the men said they had experienced problems getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases, because thousands of centers that used to provide them have closed down.

       That means that those people still having sex have no idea about their status, which Sanchez warned is a potential ticking bomb. “It’s very likely that people’s risk behaviours will resume before they will have full access to prevention services,” he said. “And I think that combination could lead to increases in HIV transmission.”

     The full impact of the pandemic on HIV transmission will not be known before next year, when the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention publishes its statistics on 2020 infections. But numerous experts and healthcare professionals fear a step backward, a year after the United States announced the goal of cutting the number of new infections by 75 percent by the year 2025.

      In Washington, a city that has been hit hard by HIV, the Whitman-Walker clinic has had to stop its daily walk-in tests for the virus and other sexually transmitted infections like syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.

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ASUU chapters at loggerheads after FG offer to end 8-month strike.

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The controversy generated by the ongoing strike between the federal government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is yet to abate despite the pleas from Nigerians.

The Nation reports that some branches of ASUU were divided over whether to accept the federal government’s offer and call off their eight-month-old strike. Legit.ng gathered that the union would harmonise the positions of zones and branches at a meeting in Abuja on Friday, November 27. The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, addressing the leadership of ASUU in Abuja over the strike. The report said while some branches insisted that the government must meet all the demands before the strike is called off, the union may put the decision to a vote. It was learnt that the Ahmadu Bello University branch agreed with the government on the N40 billion Earned Academic Allowance (EAA).

The branch, however, called for payment of the allowance before the strike will be called off. The newspaper noted that the lecturers at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Delta state, said negotiations with the federal government must be concluded before the strike is called off. The chairman of ASUU at the university, Ezekiel Agbalagba, said the congress on Wednesday, November 25, accepted the EAA, but rejected the N25 billion for the revitalisation of the varsities.

He said:

“We are willing to suspend the strike, but some of those contending issues should be thrashed and thrashed once.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the authority of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) directed all non-teaching staff of the institution to resume work on Friday, November 27, with cutlasses, hoes, brooms, and buckets to clear overgrown grass, sweep offices as well as keep the environment clean.

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