1.9m Nigerians now infected with HIV/AIDS

Henrietta Brewer
March 17, 2019

The data from the Nigeria National HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) are based a revised and enhanced methodology.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that UNAIDS is the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and a special team handling all HIV/AIDS related crisis.

Before the commencement of the survey, about three million Nigerians were estimated to be living with HIV and about 1.1 million of them now receiving treatment.

It states that while the North-West has the lowest prevalence rate at 0.6 per cent, the South-South geopolitical zone has the highest with 3.1 per cent.

President Muhammadu Buhari said that the country's control and response to HIV and AIDS is improving. The South-South zone of the country has the highest HIV prevalence, at 3.1% among adults aged 15-49 years.

On the entourage of Dr. Sidibe were the Country Director of UNAIDS, Dr. Erasmus Morah, Director General, National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA), Dr. Sani Aliyu and other officials. The new national HIV prevalence measure is estimated at 1.4% and is more accurate than those previously conducted, as it is based on an expanded surveillance system and a revised and enhanced methodology, a USA government official has said. However, we can not celebrate yet, as nearly a million Nigerians living with HIV are now not on treatment.

"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", said Mr Sidibé.

He said the survey was the best in the world because of the non-interference policy employed and the use of better quality laboratories.

"We will ensure that we focus our efforts on ensuring those infected with HIV achieve viral suppression, minimising the risk of HIV transmission and moving Nigeria closer to controlling the HIV epidemic".

"The Nigeria National HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) findings provide Nigeria with an accurate national HIV prevalence measure of 1.4%".

"I appreciate Mr President for adequate funding of the survey which was done in the most efficient manner and it is the largest survey done in nine months".

He said this would guide the scale up of treatment and prevention services across all age groups.

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

He called for concerted effort to stop HIV in Nigeria, as he noted "if we don't stop HIV in Nigeria, we will never have a generation free of HIV in Africa".

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