HIV infection rate now 60 per cent under control says Dr Aliyu

The Director General of the National Agency for Control of AIDS, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, says Nigeria has achieved 60 percent control of HIV infection rate, stating that the aim is to achieve at least, 90 percent.

He also noted that, in terms of treatment, the figures of those who have access to anti-retroviral medications are also increasing.

Aliyu spoke in Lagos on Thursday at the inauguration of the agency’s South-West zonal office.

He said the location of the zonal office would bring the agency closer to stakeholders.

Also speaking at the occasion, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State called for stronger collaboration among all stakeholders to eradicate the HIV pandemic in Nigeria and end the unenviable record of having the second largest HIV epidemic in the world.

Sanwo-Olu said there was urgent need for stakeholders to review strategies and deepen partnership in the area of advocacy and expanding access to care, treatment and support for those living with HIV.

The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the recently released report of national and sub-national incidence rates, which indicate a reduction in prevalence of the disease, is a testament to the effort of all stakeholders.

He warned that much work needed to be done to ensure further significant reduction, “as Nigeria still has an unenviable record of having the second largest HIV epidemic in the world and one of the highest rates of new infection in sub-Saharan Africa.”

While noting that the establishment of the NACA zonal office in Lagos will bring closer the agency’s services to the people, particularly stakeholders and partners, Sanwo-Olu averred that the office will enhance NACA’s monitoring and coordination functions in the drive to reduce HIV prevalence.

Aliyu also noted that the office will expand the frontier of the agency in the achievement of its mandates, while also serving as functional knowledge centre on the disease for people living with the virus, providing them with how to obtain support and care. Punch
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