Buhari unveils Nigeria's AIDS indicator, impact survey results

Number of Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS drops to 1.9m

Number of Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS drops to 1.9m

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.

Buhari noted during the presidential announcement of the NAIIS result at the Banquet hall of the Aso Rock that the results would form the future response to the country's HIV and AIDS epidemic.

The president directed NACA and the Ministry of Health to undertake detailed consultations and consensus building with key sectoral ministries, the legislature, governors of high prevalence states, development partners and civil society organisations to chart a new strategic path, building on the results of this survey. The survey also showed that Northern Nigeria has a lower HIV/AIDS burden than south.

The South-south geopolitical zone has the highest HIV prevalence among adults age 15 to 64 years in the country with 3.1 percent, while the Northwest had the lowest prevalence rate with 0.6 percent.

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday unveiled the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) report, saying the end of the disease was in sight in the country.

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".

Mr Aliyu encouraged people living with HIV to get treatment and achieve viral suppression.

"We know with our new data, we can be more focused, we can really go to where the epidemic is and be more efficient in term of utilisation of resources and have a better return on what will be invested in this fight", Sidibe said.

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. "Everyone infected with HIV needs to get treatment so they can achieve viral suppression, especially pregnant women".

The event is being organized by the Minister of Health and the National Agency for the Control of Aids.

Modern anti-retroviral therapy has made it possible for HIV positive persons to live as long as their HIV negative counterparts.

Mrs Buhari said this on Thursday when she received a delegation of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) led by it's Executive Director, Mr Michiel Sidibe, at the State House, Abuja.

The survey was completed at the end of December 2018.

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