By Tunde Johnson, Abuja
AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN) has disclosed that the federal government has enrolled 70,655 persons on free HIV and AIDS treatment in three states of the federation which include: Lagos, Oyo and Plateau states.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Prosper Okonkwo, Chief Executive Officer of APIN, said in the last five years, the organization has carried out HIV test for 4,475,318 individuals in the country with 70,655 reported cases of HIV.
He said 84 per cent viral load suppression rate has however been achieved among those on treatment, which is a great leap towards the 90 per cent viral suppression United Nation AIDS goal in the states covered.
“3.4 million Individuals have been estimated to be living with HIV in Nigeria and this has been rated as the 2nd highest burden in Africa.
“Only about 1.1 million (32 per cent) of the PLHIV in Nigeria know that they are living with the virus,
“ While 970,000 people are on treatment with about 780,000 PLHIV attaining viral suppression. This is a far cry from the UNAIDS 90.90.90 goal.” He said
Okonkwo called on Nigerians, especially men, to go for HIV test, to enable them know their status noting that statistics have shown that more women have tested than men over the years.
He added that to support male uptake of HIV test, testing during weekends and evenings periods at strategic places shall be supported.
World AIDS Day, is commemorated annually on 1st December and it gives the opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, while showing their support for people living with the virus.
In Nigeria, the 2017 World AIDS Day, theme has been adapted as “Right to Health – Making it Happen”.
This however offers the opportunity to highlight the success of worldwide efforts to combat HIV/AIDS as well as the importance of continued support to end AIDS in 2030.