…Highest number detected so far in the country, says NACA DG
Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, says between September 2019 and September 2020, 279,000 persons living with HIV were identified throughout the country.
Aliyu described the incidence as “the highest in the history of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.”
He noted that, so far, 1.2m people living with the virus had been identified and put on antiretroviral therapy across the country, stressing that the Federal Government was working assiduously and hopeful to end HIV/AIDS transmission in the country by 2024.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Aliyu spoke while declaring open a five-day capacity strengthening of key and vulnerable populations in access to HIV services efficiency on Monday in Sokoto.
He said, “Nigeria is working toward ending the transmission of HIV/AIDS in the next three years, which is 2024, less than the targeted year of 2030 by the United Nations.”
Aliyu noted that Nigeria had recorded great successes and ranked among the five countries with minimum challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria had been recognised by the UN, which had “directed other nations to emulate our strides based on efforts in ending the transmission target slated for 2030.
“However, it can be achieved in the next three years. The target entails identifying 95 per cent of people living with HIV/AIDS; ensuring access to antiretroviral drugs by 95 percent patients and suppressing the virus in 95 percent of the patients so that they cannot transmit it to others.
“We will do everything to achieve this target in the next two to three years, not in the next 10 years as stipulated by UN.”
According to him, Nigeria had identified 279,000 patients between September 2019 and September 2020, describing it as the highest in the history of HIV/AIDS in the country.
He noted that, so far, 1.2m people living with the condition had been identified and put on antiretroviral treatment across the country.
The NACA boss explained that the training was necessitated by dwindling resources for the fight against the virus because most of the interventions by the developed countries had ceased.
“So, we want to develop the people’s capacity on resource mobilisation and utilisation so that they can continue to live their normal lives,” he said.
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