From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Heartland Alliance, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has raised an alarm over the scale of HIV infections in Nigeria which it said is tallying at 100,000 per day.
Mr. Micheal Akanji, a resource person stated this at a media round table organised by the organisation and AVAC 2020/2021 fellowship programme in Uyo, yesterday while giving a review of challenges of HIV prevention in Nigeria.
He said increased budget, improved access to prevention techniques and sustainability options would help to reduce prevention He equally expressed concern over the continued high rating of Akwa Ibom in HIV prevalence rating in Nigeria.
Akanji explained that the country’s mode of transmission has risen to 83 per cent but while the prevelance among the general population stands at 1.4 per cent, that of men who have sex with other men, MSM, have risen to 22.9 per cent.
He regretted that government’s continued funding policy and emphasis on treatment of infected persons rather than prevention has been counter productive but expressed hope that with results of recent researches and studies emphasis would soon shift to more funding for prevention.
Akanji called on stakeholders to increase their advocacy on the area of prevention by discouraging cultural and medical practices which tend to discourage prevention of infection among the populace.
On new biomedical prevention nomethods, the anchor of the AVAC 2020/2021 fellowship programme, Ms Josephine Aseme, identified limited prevention technology options, low coverages, increased incidences and poor funding as some of the reasons for lack of access to new prevention technologies.