The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Nigeria has dropped according to UNAID

23rd March 2015 And still on Nigeria, the people at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS have said that there has been a steady decline in the spread of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria in the past five years. The institution’s Investigations that were independently conducted by the UNAIDS, Health Systems Strengthening, Integrated Biological and Behavioral Sentinel Survey and the Federal Ministry of Health showed that a 54 per cent reduction in the estimated incidence of HIV in Nigeria between 2003 and 2013 has occurred, down from 46 per cent in 2003 to 21 per cent in 2013.

The research showed that new HIV infections have reduced since 2003 when it stood at 348,564. In 2013, the rate of new infections dropped to 220,394. Also, HIV prevalence among pregnant women aged between 15-25 years dropped by 33.3 per cent – from six per cent in 2001 to 4.10 per cent in 2010.

According to them, “This year started with the great news of the signing into law the Anti-Stigma Bill by President Goodluck Jonathan, a clear sign of Nigeria’s commitment to stopping stigmatization and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.”

Prof. John Idoko, a Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, has said, “It is particularly encouraging that all acts of discrimination against people living with HIV, such as recruitment and termination of employment, denial of access to services such as health care, education, association and other social services will be reduced and ultimately end.”

He has advised people not to shun testing because getting tested for HIV remains the best step in the fight against the infection. In 2014 alone, over seven million Nigerians underwent HIV screening and counseling, according to the professor, and that people who are on anti-retroviral therapy increased from 132,438 in 2007 to 659,397 in 2013.

To conclude, Idoko added that, “The decline in the estimated incidence of HIV in Nigeria is a welcome development. Ultimately, Nigeria will be able to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, given the commitment of the government to improving the health of Nigerians and getting to zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination.”

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