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

Health Minister launches Buhari’s re-election initiative

"From the 1.9 million Nigerians, over 1 million are now on the live saving treatment", he said. Previous estimates had indicated a national HIV prevalence of 2.8%.

He said this would guide the scale up of treatment and prevention services across all age groups.

"On behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, we'd like to express our profound gratitude to you and your organisation for the great cooperation extended to us to tackle this major health challenge", Onyeama said. I urge all of us not to relent, but to increase the momentum. "Let us, therefore, work collectively and push for the last mile", he said.

Akwa Ibom State in South South Nigeria, now has the highest AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) prevalence rate in Nigeria, according to the Nigerian HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS).

The survey was conducted within nine months as it commenced June through December 2018 in the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory.

He explained that the prevalence of patient living with the virus within the age under consideration in Nigeria was 1.4 per cent (1.9 per cent among females and 0.9 per cent among males). Significant efforts have been made in recent years to stop new HIV infections among children.

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.

She also encouraged government and relevant stakeholders to commit more resources to stem the epidemic among future generation of Nigerians. HIV prevalence is lower in the South West zone (1.1%), the North East zone (1.1%) and the North West zone (0.6%). "Everyone infected with HIV needs to get treatment so they can achieve viral suppression, especially pregnant women".

Nigeria has dropped from second to the fourth country worst hit by the Human Immuno Virus (HIV) epidemic in the world, as the results from Nigeria HIV/ AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS), shows that 1.9 million Nigerians are presently living with the virus.

"An estimated 1.9 million Nigerians are now living with HIV with about one million persons on treatment".

He however tasked the Ministry of Health and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS to work closely with state governments with high HIV prevalence by ensuring that the epidemic was drastically reduced.

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

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