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Nigeria is no longer the country with the second highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS

Healthcare

Nigeria is no longer the country with the second highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, says Nigeria has moved to the fourth position among countries worst hit by the HIV epidemic.

Backstory: With a previous estimate of about 3.2 million people living with HIV, Nigeria was in second place on the list of countries with a high prevalence rate for HIV. Nigeria came after South Africa which ranks first with about 7.1 million people living with HIV.

Speaking during a press briefing held after the announcement of the Nigeria HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) result on Thursday, Adewole said Nigeria has now dropped to the fourth position after South Africa, India and Mozambique following the findings of the survey.

A report by the World Health Organisation in 2016 indicated that Nigeria had the second largest HIV epidemic, with over 196,000 adolescents representing 10 percent of the global burden epidemic.

The federal government launched the National AIDS survey in June 2018 to determine the distribution of HIV and AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in the country.

The survey reached around 220,000 people in about 100,000 households and was conducted between July and December 2018.

The result of the survey shows that about 1.9 million Nigerians are currently living with HIV, a figure which is lower than the previous estimate.

In his address, Adewole said the NAIIS findings provides Nigeria with an accurate national HIV prevalence measure of 1.4 percent.

According to him, the survey also showed that Nigeria is able to effectively provide antiretroviral treatment.

While unveiling the survey results, President Muhammadu Buhari said the goal to end AIDs in Nigeria by 2030 is still feasible.

“For the first time, the end of AIDs as a public threat by 2030 is truly in sight for our country,” the president said.

“I urge all of us not to relent but to increase the momentum. Let us work collectively and push for the last mile.”

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