50% Nigerians unsure of HIV status â€“ Group
The AIDS Health Care Foundation (AHF), an NGO, on Thursday said that about 50 per cent of Nigerians were yet to know their HIV status.
Mrs Oluwakemi Gbadamosi, the Advocacy Manager of the foundation, said this in Abuja in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Gbadamosi said the figure was worrisome because of Nigeriaâ€™s population of about 170 million people and its status as a country with the second highest burden of HIV in Africa after South Africa.
According to her, Nigeriaâ€™s current HIV testing uptake is quite low and for a country targeting 50 per-cent testing coverage, a robust community testing drive is needed to bridge the yawning gap.
Speaking on the prevalence rate, Gbadamosi said the country had 3.1 per cent prevalence, with about 3.5 million people living with the disease globally.
She said the UNAIDS in 2013 put the figures at 3.5 million people living with HIV out of which 1.6 million people required anti-retro viral drugs.
The UNAIDS, she said, puts the treatment gap at over 54 per cent, revealing that only about 673,000 persons out of those living with the disease were currently accessing treatment.
However, she urged stakeholders to put in place policies to enable more people living with the virus access treatment using anti-retroviral drugs.
According to her, there is need to increase the number of those without access to treatment to reduce AIDS-related deaths.
She said that the viral load of an AIDS patient would be reduced drastically when placed on anti-retroviral therapy consistently and correctly.
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