NACA: 1.1m Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS currently receiving treatment
The Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Sanni Aliyu, says no fewer than 1.1million persons living with HIV/AIDS are currently on treatment in Nigeria.
He said this at a briefing to recount the activities of the Nigeria AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) on Thursday in Abeokuta.
Mr Aliyu, who said 17,000 persons and 800 pregnant women were currently receiving treatment for HIV in Ogun, noted that only the survey could ascertain the baseline.
“What we’re not certain of is the gap that currently exists. Out of those 17, 000 on treatment, what proportion are we currently having? Is it more than a 100, 000 or less than 50, 000.
“We’re not sure of those figures; which is why we’re doing the survey.
“The survey will give us more precise estimate of the HIV prevalence in Ogun. It’ll allow us to do more effective advocacy and seek for resources that can be used judiciously.
“We’ll also be able to identify the hot-spots and target them,” he said.
He explained further that the survey which began nationally in June would last for a six month period in each zone, just as it would last four weeks in each state visited.
According to Mr Aliyu, the NAIIS is the largest single country HIV survey ever done in the world, “and just like science, if you’re sampling, the more people you sample, the more accurate you get.
“This is why we’re putting in resources to define the epidemic more clearly,” the director general said.
He said the survey in Ogun had been successful; 90 per cent of the enumerated areas had been covered in three weeks.
He, however, attributed the success to the hard work from his team, commitment from state government, community leaders and religious institutions.
“We started three weeks ago and we’ve covered 20 local government areas and 112 enumeration areas which represent 90 per cent of the total enumeration areas.
“We have just one week to finish with Ogun and move to Ondo.
“Three out of every four households we visited have accepted to be part of the survey, which made it easy for us,” Mr Aliyu said.
The NACA boss advised sexually active and non-sexual active persons alike to endeavour to know their status.
He, however, said the total results of the survey would be available by June 2019.
Earlier in an address, the Ogun commissioner for health, Babatunde Ipaye, commended the team for working tirelessly to achieve the desired goal.
Mr Ipaye, who was represented by Nofiu Aigoro, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, thanked the director-general for making the state to benefit from the survey.
He said the current administration was committed to the health of its citizenry, pledging to provide total support to the agency.