End of HIV/Aids in Sight in Nigeria

Ben Davidson
March 17, 2019

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.

The Nigerian HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) indicates that about 1.9 million Nigerians are now living with the disease, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has said.

The survey, which is the largest HIV survey in the world, reached more than 250,000 respondents in almost 100,000 households in the 774 local government areas of the country.

"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". 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%).

Briefing journalists after the report was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, the Director-General of the National Agency for the control of HIV/AIDS, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said Nigeria has dropped from number two to number four on the ranking of countries with highest HIV prevalence.

Tvc's Kemi Balogun reports that Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with an estimated population of 192 million.

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" Your Excellency, this appointment is not only to help the UNAIDS in advocacy, but to assist in scaling up the campaign against mother to child transmission of HIV as well as the Promotion of Treatment for Children Living with HIV in Nigeria, " he said.

The improved understanding of the country's HIV epidemic will allow for more efficient investments in the response to HIV and more effective planning for the provision of HIV prevention, care and treatment services, including a focus on key populations, such as female sex workers.

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 antenatal services and are tested during every pregnancy. However, the new estimates released today indicate that more than half of people living with HIV still do not have suppressed viral loads.

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.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

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