28 December 2015

Nigeria: 2030 Deadline On HIV/Aids Transmission in Nigeria Feasible - Naca

Kaduna — The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has said that Nigeria is winning the war against the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus infection and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), adding that the 2030 deadline to end the disease transmission in the country is feasible.

This came as the agency began its project for nationwide testing under a presidential response plan to test up to 80 million people.

Speaking in Kaduna at a free medical outreach tagged "Getting to Zero", the Assistant Director Resource Mobilization of NACA, Peter Egena, said the target for Kaduna is 10,000 people.

"Our target is to test people and to counsel them concerning HIV/AIDS because that is the first leg in the prevention of the disease generally. We are going from state to state and the target is to reach out to over 80 million Nigerians. Every Nigerian actually needs to know his or her HIV status. The essence is that if you know your status it is better because HIV is not a death sentence.

"If you are positive and you are put on treatment and abide by it you will live your life normally and if you are negative, we will still counsel you on what to so that you remain negative. But considering our intervention over the years, we can say that Nigeria is winning the war against HIV/AIDS. Over the years, the prevalence of the disease has been going down drastically and by 2030 we hope that we will not be having new cases of HIV infection in the country," he said.

In respect of stigma, he said the agency has made efforts to push for the passage of anti-stigma bill into law in 2014 and that people across the states were being sensitized to know that it is a crime to discriminate, stigmatize or have prejudice against persons living with HIV/AIDS virus.

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