Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

South Zone records highest HIV prevalence rate

South Zone records highest HIV prevalence rate

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the appointment came as a result of the expiration of the initial appointment in 2018.

"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.

The new data differentiates HIV prevalence by state, indicating an epidemic that is having a greater impact in certain areas of the country.

The report also adds that the North-West has the lowest AIDS prevalence rate at 0.6 per cent, while the South-South geopolitical zone has the highest at 3.1 per cent.

Adewole said this improvement was possible due to the huge committee the present administration had channelled towards the eradication of the disease.

According to the survey, the seven states with high prevalence are Akwa Ibom (5.6%): Benue (4.9%); Rivers (3.8%); and Taraba (2.7%).

According to him, the results of this survey will guide and inform government policies, strategies and programmes on HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C.

The federal government with the support of the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB and Malaria, and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other partners had in June previous year launched the survey to enable it develop strategies towards eradication of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C.

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"I want to also seize this opportunity to pay tribute to those who died during the process of the survey".

From 2010 to 2017, the country nearly tripled the number of people living with HIV having access to antiretroviral therapy, up from 360 000 people in 2010 to more than 1 million people in 2018.

This was disclosed by the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) Dr Sani Aliyu during the formal unveiling of the findings by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja. The NAIIS directly measured HIV prevalence and viral load suppression and was primarily funded by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

"However, we can not celebrate yet as we are more committed to ensuring that more people are placed on treatment".

"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 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".

The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, welcomed the new estimates and 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.

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