Treating 1.5 million patients essential to maintain HIV control each year – NACA

The National AIDS Control Agency (NACA) says treating at least 1.5 million people living with HIV (PLHIV) is essential to maintain HIV control each year in Nigeria.

NACA Director General Gambo Aliyu said this Tuesday during a quarterly HIV fact sheet in Abuja.

Aliyu, who expressed the agency’s commitment to achieving the goal of Joint United Nations Action on AIDS (UNAIDS) for epidemic control over the next three years, said it would cost about 75 billion naira.

“1.3 million is the current HIV prevalence rate nationwide and over the past 10 years we have invested $ 6.2 billion in treatment.

“Over $ 5 billion of the above (2.1 trillion naira) comes from international donors,” he said.

Mr. Aliyu reiterated the agency’s desire to drastically reduce transmission through regular testing and identification.

According to him, HIV is on the verge of being controlled by the time we have 99 percent of people living with HIV tested and placed on drugs.

The chief executive unveiled the agency’s plan to involve states in sponsoring the treatment to keep the outbreak in control.

Mr. Aliyu said the agency has the capacity to simultaneously fight HIV during the course of COVID-19.

He said they had deployed their infrastructure to support COVID-19 with more than 15,000 volunteers from the HIV stakeholder community who have supported contact tracing, social mobilization and the fight against stigma and discrimination.

“25-30% of COVID-19 tests have been done in six HIV mega-labs.

“Replicated HIV Sample Transfer Mechanism for COVID-19 Response in Four States. “

The NACA boss, however, said COVID-19 had negatively impacted the HIV response with a drop in antiretroviral drugs (ART) from 39,450 to 21,495 expected in April, which is a drop of 45 , 5%.

He noted that COVID-19 has also affected the delivery of HIV-related services with a drop in viral load testing and clinical activities.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports that around 1.8 million people are living with HIV in Nigeria, with Akwa Ibom having the highest prevalence rate, suggesting that 13 out of 1,000 randomly selected in the country are likely to be positive.

(NOPE)

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