Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
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HIV/AIDS: Nigeria control and response has improved

HIV/AIDS: Nigeria control and response has improved

He also said viral suppression among PLHIV aged 15 to 49 years old with access to treatment stands at 42.3 per cent (45.3 per cent among women and 34.5 per cent among men).

Who has the lowest regional AIDS prevalence rate in Nigeria?

"I commend the Government of Nigeria and its partners for conducting this ambitious survey, which provides us with a much better understanding of the country's HIV epidemic".

The president, however, said that to end AIDs, Nigeria needs a more coordinated and funded response. "Let us work collectively and push for the last mile".

The Nigerian HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) indicates that about 1.9 million Nigerians are now living with the disease, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has said.

"Today is a critical turning point in Nigeria for an HIV epidemic that has killed many of our countrymen and women".

"The US government is proud to support Nigeria in conducting the NAIIS survey".

"While it is fantastic news that there are fewer people living with HIV in Nigeria than previously thought, we must not let down our guard". When people living with HIV are virally suppressed they remain healthy and transmission of the virus is prevented.

"We truly appreciate the effort of organisations which have supported this survey and made it a reality, we look forward to more collaboration to ensure we achieve 2030 target of eradicating the epidemic".

The survey, which is the largest HIV survey in the world, reached more than 250,000 respondents in almost 100,000 households in the 774 local government areas of the country.

The survey presented for each geopolitical zone in the country for prevalence among persons age 15-64 years reads: North Central 2.1 per cent; North East 1.1 per cent; North West 0.6 per cent; South East 1.9 per cent; South-South 3.1 per cent, and South West 1.2 per cent.

The Country Director, Center for Disease Control Nigeria (CDC), Mahesh Swaminathan said the results will help the government improve its efforts in the fight against the virus.

She said the measure would ensure treatment of women living with the disease to have babies free of HIV and AIDS.

Nigeria has shown steady progress on increasing access to treatment for people living with HIV, with the adoption of a test and treat policy in 2016.

He said that the new prevalence of HIV and AIDS according to the result gives an estimate of 1.9 million people living with HIV in Nigeria presently.

"This result is good news as it indicates a lower burden which will indicate new people on treatment".

She thanked development partners, whose support in the HIV response has been invaluable, and charged government at all levels to increase funding for HIV response using Nigeria's own domestic resources.

Also, it was reported that nearly half of people living with HIV in Nigeria achieved viral suppression.

Dr Sani Aliyu, the Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), said that the generated survey would be taken to state governors who would be advised to latch on it to curb the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their states.

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