There is palpable fear and anxiety in higher institutions in Imo State following the directive by the state governor that new undergraduates be screened for HIV/AIDS tests.
Imo State governor, Emeka Ihedioha had at a public function on ways to combat the spread of the disease advised higher institutions to conduct the test for their first year students.
Speaking at the official launch of Anti Retro Viral Therapy (ART) organized by an international agency, Ihedioha who expressed worry over the reports that 58,000 persons are living in the virus in the state directed that henceforth “All MDAs, Universities, Polytechnics and other key institutions must ensure their staff are sensitized including student and their wards”.
The governor further added that “all first year students must also be screened as well”.
Trumpeta learnt that since the pronouncement by the governor, panic has gripped students of higher institutions in the state and those willing to become undergraduates in schools in the state.
The fear is not unconnected to the HIV/AIDS screening for freshers.
It was learnt that the comment of the governor sent shivers down the spines of students as majority of them who do not know their status and not willing to undertake any test may be forced to do so should the management of the school make it compulsory for their students.
The number of victims, said to be about 58,000 in the state has also disturbed residents thereby forcing the government to work out measures to curtail the spread of HIV/AIDS in the state.
Ihedioha said that part of the measures include banning any form of payment/charges against persons living with the virus in the state and thorough awareness campaign.