Nigeria's HIV Prevalence Drops to Under 2%

FG UNAIDS sign cooperation agreement

The number of persons living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria has dropped from 3.2million to 1.9million, a new report states.

He stated this on Wednesday when he attended the announcement of the Nigeria HIV/AIDS indicator and impact Survey results in Abuja.

In his goodwill message, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, said the improved understanding of the country's HIV epidemic would allow Nigeria to better reach people living with HIV and people at higher risk of acquiring HIV.

"The Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey represents an extraordinary example of what can be achieved by working together", Young said adding that, "the United States government looks forward to increased government of Nigeria ownership and investment in the HIV response to ensure sustainability". HIV prevalence among the same age group in the North Central zone is 2.0 per cent, and in the South East zone (1.9%).

While unveiling the survey results, President Muhammadu Buhari said the goal to end AIDs in Nigeria by 2030 was still feasible.

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David Young who is the Charge de Affairs, Embassy of the United States of America, according to Premium Times, said "beyond the data, the survey has proved the capacity of Nigerians working together in solidarity with one another to rise and resolve challenges regarding the health and well-being of their brothers and sisters". Buhari said his government, since assumption of office, has paid particular and deliberate attention to careful planning as a way of implementing effective policies and achieving sustained change.

She also encouraged government and relevant stakeholders to commit more resources to stem the epidemic among future generation of Nigerians. "Everyone infected with HIV needs to get treatment so they can achieve viral suppression, especially pregnant women".

She said the measure would ensure treatment of women living with the disease to have babies free of HIV and AIDS. However, the new estimates released today indicate that more than half of people living with HIV still do not have suppressed viral loads. In recent years, there has been a significant expansion in the country's response to HIV.

Also speaking on the survey, Dr Sani Aliyu, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) noted that the data from the survey would greatly position the country to met the set target of ending the epidemic by 2030.

Modern anti-retroviral therapy has made it possible for HIV positive persons to live as long as their HIV negative counterparts. Fieldwork was conducted between July and December 2018.

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