Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

President Buhari: End of HIV/AIDS in sight in Nigeria

President Buhari: End of HIV/AIDS in sight in Nigeria

Speaking at the unveiling of NAIIS, a national household-based survey on the prevalence of Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) and related health indicators, at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja, the president said, "we can not celebrate yet, as nearly a million Nigerians living with HIV are now not on 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 Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey represents an extraordinary example of what can be achieved by working together", Young said adding that, "the U.S. government looks forward to increased government of Nigeria ownership and investment in the HIV response to ensure sustainability".

The survey presented for each geopolitical zone in the country for prevalence among persons age 15-64 years reads: North Central 2.1 per cent; North East 1.1 per cent; North West 0.6 per cent; South East 1.9 per cent; South-South 3.1 per cent, and South West 1.2 per cent.

Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator & Impart Survey Results launched by President Mohammed Burahi at Aso Villa on Thursday has indicated that 1.9 million Nigerians now live with HIV, just as he said Nigeria can not still celebrate this.

"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.

"We will ensure that we focus our efforts on ensuring those infected with HIV achieve viral suppression, minimising the risk of HIV transmission and moving Nigeria closer to controlling the HIV epidemic".

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He added that in line with his administration commitment to healthcare, the government would ensure more people living with HIV are put on free anti-retroviral treatment. We must ensure pregnant women have access to ANC 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.

He added that the survey should however be used as a new beginning to do more work in the fight against the epidemic.

She thanked development partners, whose support in the HIV response has been invaluable, and charged government at all levels to increase funding for HIV response using Nigeria's own domestic resources.

The NAIIS was led by the Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS.

The Director-General of the agency, Sani Aliyu, made this known during the announcement of the NAIIS result at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja on Thursday.

The survey, which is the largest in the world reached around 220,000 people in about 100,000 households and was conducted between July and December 2018.

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

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