Nigeria has scored a major success in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has announced.
In a statement issued on Thursday, NACA said Nigeria has moved from a high prevalence rate of over 5.8 % in the year 2001 to less than 3% prevalence rate in 2014. This means less than 3% tested for the virus in selected areas on the country are infected.
Notwithstanding, NACA said HIV\AIDS still remains an epidemic.
“..despite this significant milestone in our National HIV/AIDS Response, there are still many challenges that is confronting our getting to zero ambition by the year 2030,” NACA DG, Aliyu Sanni said.
It said it is trying to ensure that HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) is available to all Nigerians irrespective of where they reside.
‘If we can reach all Nigerians with HCT, it will be easier to reduce new infection and place individuals who have tested positive to HIV virus on Antiretroviral, which in itself is a preventive in getting to zero,” he added.
“A vital step in reaching our set goal is for all Nigerians to know their HIV status. A simple rapid test will enable an individual know his/her HIV status, which remains the gateway to HIV Prevention, treatment and care. Nigeria government in collaboration with foreign donor agencies and other relevant stakeholders in Nigeria has put efforts together over the years to ensure that all Nigerians get tested by making HIV testing free at all government hospital across the country,” he further stated.