‘FG to end HIV scourge by 2030’
By Muhammad Auwal
The Nigeria’s Federal Government has reiterated its determination to end the HIV epidemic by the year 2030, in line with the UN Joint Programme on Aids (UNAIDS) vision 90-90-90.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, made the government’s position known at the official launch of “Undetectable = Untransmittable” (U=U Campaign) by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) in Abuja.
The minister, who was represented by Mr Olokun Lawal, a Pharmacist in the ministry, restated Nigeria’s commitment toward
achieving viral suppression through what he called “Detection, Treatment and Suppression (DTS).”
The minister acknowledged Nigeria’s achievements toward suppressing HIV virus through treatment interventions, which he said started in 1986 when the epidemic was first reported in the country.
He added that “Nigeria is on track to achieving the UNAID’s 90-90-90 vision and we are working hard toward ending
HIV by the year 2030.”
Director General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, expressed satisfaction with the successes achieved in stemming the tide of HIV/AIDS in the country.
He explained that the achievements were evident in the 2018 National AIDS and Indicator Survey (NAISS) as launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Dr Aliyu ascribed the successes to efforts by communities in partnership with government, U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and
global funds in the last 15 years.
The NACA boss said that Nigeria’s HIV prevalence reduced from 4.4 per cent in 2005 to 1.4 per cent in 2018.
According to him, outstanding efforts by communities put the country on the path of achieving HIV epidemic control.
He reiterated the need for funding, which he said was paramount toward educating the society to fight stigma and discrimination.
He noted that the efforts of communities were ever-needed in ensuring that HIV remained on the political agenda, aimed at galvanising international funding.
The NACA director general restated the determination of the agency in achieving UNAID’S 90-90-90 vision by ensuring that prevention, treatment and care were community compliant and sustainable.
“Therefore, when Nigeria says that Undetectable Viral Load equals Untransmittable Virus, Nigeria is joining the international community in basing
her position on solid scientific evidence,’’ Aliyu said.
The U=U campaign is an informational campaign about how effective HIV medications are at preventing sexual transmission of HIV.
U=U means that people living with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load, the amount of HIV in the body by taking HIV medication as prescribed, cannot sexually transmit the virus to others.