The Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Sani Aliyu, has promised to release the result of the Nigerian national survey of people living with HIV/AIDS will be out by March next year.
Mr Aliyu, while addressing the media on the 2018 World AIDS Day (WAD) celebration, said the field works on the survey would be completed in December.
The World AIDS Day is marked on the 1st of December every year to encourage communities to unite against HIV, show support for people living with the disease, and remember those who have passed away due to AIDS.
The theme for the 2018 World AIDS Day, which is the 30th anniversary of the first World AIDS Day, is “Know Your Status.”
Mr Aliyu said the survey has been carried out in 27 out of the 36 states of Nigeria, which represent about 75 percent of the entire work.
The survey, for which the United States government donated $90 million, is tagged Nigeria AIDS Indicators and Impact Survey (NAIIS) and is the largest in the world and Nigeria is the 12th country conducting it.
NACA had argued that records of the disease being branded by Nigeria are based on guesswork and not the product of verifiable assessment.
“We are now in Web 5 and 6 of the survey,” Mr Aliyu said.
“And by the end of this week and early next week, we will have only about six states left to go and we expect the field work will finish by 21st of December,” he said.
Mr Aliyu noted that the results would be interesting and “will provide the country with more leverage to get more resources for the HIV programme.”
In the News:
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) says about 1 million people are receiving anti-retroviral drugs in Nigeria. Funding for treatment comes from the @GlobalFund and @PEPFAR #EndtheEpidemics #AIDS
— GlobalFundAdvocates (@GFadvocates) November 26, 2018
On the effort to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, the NACA boss admitted Nigeria is still facing some challenges, as only about 50 percent of pregnant women are present for antenatal care.
He, however, said the agency would continue to embark on awareness programmes to get more pregnant women to attend antenatal care.
Mr Aliyu also said the WAD is an opportunity to remind the public of the importance of testing for HIV.
“Having an HIV test is an essential step towards accessing life-saving HIV treatment as we progress towards putting everybody living with HIV in Nigeria on treatment,” he said.
In his remarks, the National Coordinator, Nigeria AIDs/Sexually Transmitted Infections Control Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, Araoye Segilola, said a key population in the country is yet to know their HIV status.
He said various innovative strategies were being employed to reach the population.
This, he said, includes the continued expansion of Couples HIV Counseling and Testing (CHCT) and the introduction of newer approaches such as Partner Notification Services (PNS), HIV Self Testing (HIVST) and Recency Testing.