President Buhari: End of HIV/AIDS in sight in Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

"I want to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari, public and private organisations, the U.S. Government that supported the survey and Nigerians for their cooperation during the survey".

He said this would guide the scale up of treatment and prevention services across all age groups. "Let us work collectively and push for the last mile", Buhari said.

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

The survey was conducted within nine months as it commenced June through December 2018 in the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory. Significant efforts have been made in recent years to stop new HIV infections among children.

The size estimate of the key population identified Kaduna state with the highest number of female sex workers and people who inject drugs active hotspots with Kano State identified as the state with the highest numbers of men who have sex with men active hotspots.

He declared "greater emphasis will be place on preventing HIV transmission to babies so that no baby is born positive".

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"We know with our new data, we can be more focused, we can really go to where the epidemic is and be more efficient in term of utilisation of resources and have a better return on what will be invested in this fight", Sidibe said. It will permit the adoption of a population-location approach to deliver services to the people and areas where they are most needed. It also accounts for the second highest HIV and Aids burden in the world after South Africa.

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. Buhari said his government, since assumption of office, has paid particular and deliberate attention to careful planning as a way of implementing effective policies and achieving sustained change.

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

The number of persons living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria has dropped from 3.2million to 1.9million, a new report states.

"An estimated 1.9 million Nigerians are now living with HIV with about one million persons on treatment".

On the entourage of Dr. Sidibe were the Country Director of UNAIDS, Dr. Erasmus Morah, Director General, National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA), Dr. Sani Aliyu and other officials. "As a government working with our partners, we have what it takes to support people who are HIV-positive, to provide treatment, to protect their families and to help people live long and healthy lives".

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