Number of Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS drops to 1.9m
17 March, 2019, 11:59 | Author: Kara Nash
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.
The data from the Nigeria National HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) are based a revised and enhanced methodology.
According to him, this is an improvement to what was obtained in 2014, when the country was estimated to have 3.1 million people living with the virus in the country.
He said that South Africa, India and Mozambique were ranked ahead of Nigeria with the highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS.
"I must also commend the efforts of scientist from Nigeria, U.S. University of Maryland, NAIIS team and all those who ensured that the survey was a success".
According to results from the survey conducted among adults between the age of 15 to 64 years across the six geo-graphical zone, the North Central zone follows closely with 2.1 per cent, while the South East zone is at 1.9 per cent.
"For the first time, the end of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is truly in sight for our country", said H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria.
NAIIS directly measured HIV prevalence and viral load suppression, allowing Nigeria to focus on providing services to the areas with the greatest need to control the HIV epidemic.
"Today is a critical turning point in Nigeria for an HIV epidemic that has killed many of our countrymen and women".
Buhari also noted that the results would provide the government with appropriate information that would enable the country beat the 2030 target of ending the epidemic. We must ensure pregnant women have access to ANC services and are tested during every pregnancy.
"An estimated 1.9 million Nigerians are now living with HIV with about one million persons on treatment". "We know we can support HIV-positive mothers, hence ensuring the next generation is free from HIV", he said.
The survey that revealed the decline in the risk of HIV infection was conducted by the Nigerian government with the support of the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other development partners.
Modern anti-retroviral therapy has made it possible for HIV positive persons to live as long as their HIV negative counterparts.
He made this known in Abuja at the unveiling of findings on the largest global survey on HIV and AIDS. The survey reached around 220 000 people in about 100 000 households.
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