Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Federal Government has revealed that only 18 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria are aware of their status, an indication that there is still a 52 percent gap in advocacy.
The government said that available data indicated that nine million persons were counselled and tested as regards HIV/AIDS in 2017. Out of which 4.98 million were female and 4.031 male. It added that 239,542 persons tested positive (136,987 female and 102,555 male).
National Coordinator, National AIDS/Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Control Programme, in Federal Ministry of Health, Araove Segiola, divulged the information in Abuja, during a press conference to mark the 2018 World AIDS Day.
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United Nations, few years ago, declared December 1st, as World AIDS Day, to reawaken global awareness and consciousness on the virus and the plight of people living with the virus, stressing the importance early knowledge of status.
He said: “HIV test with negative result provides opportunity for the individual to be properly counselled on the risk factors and empowered with information on how to stay negative. Individuals with positive result are also counselled appropriately and linked to treatment and care.
In his remarks, the Director General, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Dr. Sani Aliyu, suggested improved funding for the fight against the virus.
He was optimistic that the outcome of the ongoing nationwide survey on HIV/AIDS would provide clearer information on the state of the virus in Nigeria and how best to tackle.
He appreciated the effort and support of local and international partners particularly in the provision of financial and logistic support to the plight of people living with the virus