15 March 2019

Nigeria: End of HIV/Aids in Sight in Nigeria - Buhari

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(file photo).

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday unveiled the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) report, saying the end of the disease was in sight in the country.

Unveiling the NAIIS at the Presidential Villa Abuja, he said the availability of accurate and reliable HIV data for the country was crucial for planning effective health interventions to arrest the HIV epidemic and ultimately rid the country of this health threat.

"The Nigeria AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey was designed to provide the data we need to plan adequately and consolidate on the progress towards the elimination of HIV in Nigeria.

"The official HIV prevalence for persons aged 15-49 years in Nigeria is now 1.4 percent. An estimated 1.9 million Nigerians are now living with HIV with about one million persons on treatment.

"I am delighted that these more accurate figures indicate that fewer Nigerians are affected by HIV. However, we cannot celebrate yet, as almost a million Nigerians living with HIV are currently not on treatment. Now that we have data that will help us target for impact, I urge all of us not to relent in this fight, but to increase the momentum in a concerted effort to end the epidemic ahead of 2030.

"Today is a critical turning point in Nigeria for an HIV epidemic that has killed many of our countrymen and women. The end of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is truly in sight for our country. Let us, therefore, work collectively and push for the last mile," he said.

He directed NACA and the Federal Ministry of Health to undertake detailed consultations and consensus building with key sectoral Ministries, the legislature, governors of high prevalence states, development partners and civil society to chart a new strategic path, building on the results of the survey.

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