8 February 2016

Nigeria: HIV/Aids - 58,000 Babies Are Born With Virus Annually in Nigeria - UNAIDS

Despite the decline in the HIV/AIDS new infection and deaths, a total of 58,000 babies are born annually with the AIDS virus in Nigeria and there are chances of only 50% survival for the babies who are in most cases not exposed to treatment.

Similarly, there are 3.2 million people living with the virus and a total of 91,400 have been tested in 32 local governments which have been accessible to the patients.

This was revealed yesterday by the under Secretary General and executive director of UNAIDS mission to Nigeria, Mr Michel Sidibe when he paid a courtesy visit to the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof John Idoko at the agency's headquaters in Abuja.

The under Secretary- General who stated that there is a need for Nigeria's new generation to be born without the disease, looking for people who don't know their status is key and Nigeria must be realistic in the fight to end the virus.

"People must be reached to end the epidemic as there is already a decline of new infection and the people dying of the disease. So far, 58,000 babies are born with the disease in Nigeria annually and there is a need for a new generation to be born without it."

He said Nigeria needs to have its own budget despite shared responsibility as funds from external donors is unpredictable and sustainable‎.

"We can't keep treating people with medicine from abroad. Africa should be able to produce and Nigeria should be the best hub for the production ‎of drugs. We have the resources, knowledge, manpower, etc. We must be inclusive in our report and leaving no one behind in the epidemic control."

The DG in his response, stated that there is a need to review existing data which states that three million people are under- going treatment, as this is expected to be less, said prevalence of the virus is much lower than what is been quoted.

He said Nigeria is still second after South Africa in terms of number and the epidemiology prevalence is 3.0% and called on the need for government at all levels as well as the private sector to be committed in political and funding commitment.


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