HIV Infection Drops By 35 Percent In Nigeria Says United Nations

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A new global report by UNAIDS indicates that new HIV infections in Nigeria have declined by 35 percent in the past three years, says a story in the DAILY INDEPENDENT.

The Gap report released in Geneva, Switzerland on July 16, 2014 also indicated that Nigeria is one of the countries in the world that realized a rapid increase in the number of people living with HIV that are accessing Antiretroviral therapy.

“The decline in new infections is a clear sign that the Government of Nigeria is steering the HIV response in the right direction, and much progress can be realized if more resources are committed to the cause,” said Dr. Bilali Camara, the UNAIDS Country Director in Nigeria.

The report said new infections showed signs of decline while about 640,000 people in Nigeria were on antiretroviral therapy in 2013. However, it said there is a need for much more work to be done in the country in order to eliminate HIV by 2030.

“HIV testing is critical to the provision of care and treatment. In line with the President’s Comprehensive Response Plan for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, if Nigeria commits resources to helping 80 million people in the country know their HIV status by end of 2015, more people can be put on treatment, new infections and AIDS-related deaths could drop drastically,” said Dr. Camara.

The report highlighted eight action points to support ending the AIDS epidemic, including securing leadership, protection of human rights, investing in communities, focusing on local epidemics and populations, decentralizing delivery of HIV services, and expanding the choices for HIV prevention and treatment.

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