Medicine

HIV: Aisha Buhari urges regular testing to prevent mother-to-child transmission

HIV: Aisha Buhari urges regular testing to prevent mother-to-child transmission

"The Nigeria AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey was created to provide the data we need to plan adequately and consolidate on the progress towards the elimination of HIV in Nigeria".

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the appointment came as a result of the expiration of the initial appointment in 2018.

Before the commencement of the survey, about three million Nigerians were estimated to be living with HIV and about 1.1 million of them now receiving treatment.

The South-south geopolitical zone has the highest HIV prevalence among adults age 15 to 64 years in the country with 3.1 percent, while the Northwest had the lowest prevalence rate with 0.6 percent.

The team had earlier met with President Muhammadu Buhari to launch the new result of the survey undertaken by the group.

"For the south-south, (it) is Akwa-Ibom that has the highest prevalence, and, for the North Central, it is still Benue State".

According to the survey, the seven states with high prevalence account for 50% of the overall estimated number of persons living with HIV in Nigeria.

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The survey that revealed the decline in the risk of HIV infection was conducted by the Nigerian government with the support of the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other development partners.

"The US government is proud to support Nigeria in conducting the NAIIS survey". He equally noted that the viral suppression among PLHIV aged 15 to 49 years old with access to treatment stands at 42.3 per cent (45.3 per cent among women and 34.5 per cent among men).

He said the survey was the best in the world because of the non-interference policy employed and the use of better quality laboratories.

The improved understanding of the country's HIV epidemic will allow for more efficient investments in the response to HIV and more effective planning for the provision of HIV prevention, care and treatment services, including a focus on key populations, such as female sex workers.

"The Nigeria National HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) findings provide Nigeria with an accurate national HIV prevalence measure of 1.4%. We know we can support HIV-positive mothers, hence ensuring the next generation is free from HIV", he said.

Mr Michel Sidibe, the Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS), commended NAIIS for a job well done, noting that the result of the survey will be a game changer for Nigeria.

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