By Asma’u Ahmad
The United States of America on Monday said that Nigeria might be closer to achieving HIV epidemic control than previously thought.
Public Affairs Officer at the US Consulate General in Lagos, Mr Russell Brooks said this at the HIV/ AIDS Awareness Walk organised by the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA).
Citing data from the National AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey released recently, Brooks highlighted some of the progress made in the fight against HIV in the country.
He said the survey indicated that the majority of Nigerians who were on HIV treatment had suppressed their viral replication, allowing them to thrive and not transmit the virus.
“The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in partnership with the government and people of Nigeria has prevented millions of Nigerians from being infected by and dying from HIV.
“In Nigeria alone, we have invested more than $5 billion in the national HIV/AIDS response. In 2018, PEPFAR provided life-saving HIV treatments to over 800,000 Nigerian men, women and children living with HIV.
“Approximately 7.4 million Nigerians have received HIV counseling and testing services. More than 1.6 million pregnant Nigerian women were tested for HIV and more than 1.2 million orphans and vulnerable children received care and support services,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Sule Omolola, Advocacy Lead, LASACA, said the walk was to sensitise residents on the need to go for HIV testing and know their status.
“Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world and we hope to intensify all efforts towards the fight against HIV/AIDs,” she said.