3.4 million Nigerians live with HIV – NACA

Semiu Salami
Semiu Salami

Prof. John Idoko, the Managing Director, National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA), says 3.4 million Nigerians are living with HIV of which 58.0 per cent are women.

Idoko gave the figure at the end of a two-day Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum on Tuesday in Abuja.

Prof. Idoko who was represented at the occasion by Dr Morenike Ukpong, Coordinator, New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society, said there was a need for bio-medical prevention technologies because the decline in new infections was much slower in adults than in children.

He said that an estimate of 388, 864 people became newly-infected by HIV in 2011, and that 217,148 people died from AIDS-related causes in 2011.

He said that donor funding accounted for 75 per cent of the expenditure in 2011.

According to him, there is prediction that new cases may rise in Nigeria from rapid population growth because of the recent increase in Mozambique and Tanzania.

“To keep pace with current spending, $30 billion is required by 2031. Where is that money going to come from?”

He said that nationwide prevalence stabilised around four per cent but 12 + one state carried higher burden and Nigeria was behind target in several important indicators.

Bright Ekweremadu, the Country Director, Society for Family Health, an NGO, said that establishing priority populations to be targeted and identifying appropriate intervention strategies were among the primary mandate for HIV prevention funding.

According to him, intervention to promote accelerated antirethroviral therapy (ART) remained one of the most important scientific advances in HIV program intervention.

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