Test for HIV when you are pregnant - Aisha Buhari to Nigerian women

To match Interview NIGERIA-BUHARI

From 2010 to 2017, the country nearly tripled the number of people living with HIV having access to antiretroviral therapy, up from 360 000 people in 2010 to more than 1 million people in 2018.

He stated this on Wednesday when he attended the announcement of the Nigeria HIV/AIDS indicator and impact Survey results in Abuja.

At the national level, viral suppression among people living with HIV aged 15-49 years stands at 42.3% (45.3% among women and 34.5% among men).

The survey, which is the largest HIV survey in the world, reached more than 250,000 respondents in almost 100,000 households in the 774 local government areas of the country. The survey also showed that Northern Nigeria has a lower HIV/AIDS burden than south.

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.

The federal government with the support of the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB and Malaria, and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other partners had in June past year launched the survey to enable it develop strategies towards eradication of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C.

Tvc's Kemi Balogun reports that Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with an estimated population of 192 million. The NAIIS directly measured HIV prevalence and viral load suppression and was primarily funded by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

"Today is a critical turning point in Nigeria for an HIV epidemic that has killed many of our countrymen and women".

In his remarks, Onyeama said the cooperation agreement was a welcome development since it will enable government to have direct relationship with UNAIDS. To halt the epidemic, we need to act now. We must ensure pregnant women have access to ANC services and are tested during every pregnancy.

"This survey is good news, because it is showing clearly that we have less people infected with HIV, less cases of new infection and less death due to HIV".

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. In recent years, there has been a significant expansion in the country's response to HIV.

"Also, we thank the United States of America for assisting us to ensure our goals are achieved", he said.

The survey was completed at the end of December 2018.

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