President declared the end of HIV/Aids in Sight in Nigeria

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

The data from the Nigeria National HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) are based a revised and enhanced methodology.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the goal of the survey was to examine the distribution of HIV disease and commodities in Nigeria and assess the coverage.

The new data differentiates HIV prevalence by state, indicating an epidemic that is having a greater impact in certain areas of the country.

About 3.2 million persons are now living with the virus in the country.

The survey, which puts the National Prevalence of HIV dropping from 3.0 per cent in 2014 to 1.4 per cent has Akwa Ibom taken over from Benue as worst affected state by HIV.

Briefing journalists after the report was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, the Director-General of the National Agency for the control of HIV/AIDS, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said Nigeria has dropped from number two to number four on the ranking of countries with highest HIV prevalence.

He directed NACA and the Federal Ministry of Health to undertake detailed consultations and consensus building with key sectoral Ministries, the legislature, governors of high prevalence states, development partners and civil society to chart a new strategic path, building on the results of the survey.

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.

"I commend the Government of Nigeria and its partners for conducting this ambitious survey, which provides us with a much better understanding of the country's HIV epidemic", said Mr Sidibé.

"We are already a step ahead in this regard, as the federal government has ensured that the HIV treatment programme in Taraba and Abia is properly funded this year and accommodation made to resource future expansions in the coming years, " he said.

According to him, NAIIS is the largest HIV/AIDS specific single country survey ever done in the world which is truly representative of the entire population.

"I appreciate Mr President for adequate funding of the survey which was done in the most efficient manner and it is the largest survey done in nine months".

The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, welcomed the new estimates and 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.

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

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