Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world and one of the highest rates of new infection in sub-Saharan Africa.Many people living with HIV in Nigeria are unaware of their status. Nigeria continues to fall short of providing the recommended number of HIV testing and counselling sites.Low levels of access to antiretroviral treatment remains an issue for people living with HIV, meaning that there are still many AIDS-related deaths in Nigeria.
In 2016 Nigeria accounted for 59% of all new HIV infections in West and Central Africa. Preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission is considered one of the most basic goals for curtailing the AIDS epidemic, and Nigeria is failing heavily in this area.
According to estimates from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, 21.58% of HIV-infected, pregnant Nigerian women transmitted the virus to their children in 2016. Nigeria’s central problem is that some 40% of women give birth at home or in makeshift clinics run by traditional birth attendants, where women are unlikely to get tested. The reasons women do not seek care at more formal health care facilities like Asokoro Hospital are many and overlapping: poverty, fear of stigma and discrimination for simply seeking an HIV test, lack of education, tradition, and husbands wary of health care .
The Nigeria Government has confirmed a report which ranks Nigeria first on the list of countries with high record of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS in the world.
Government reiterated local and international indications confirmed that Nigeria produces 30 percent of children born with HIV/AIDS globally.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, told newsmen at the launch of a roadmap on implementation of the National Treatment and Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS in Abuja, yesterday, that the situation is worrisome and requires collective action of all stakeholders, with the support of global partners to correct the statistics.
He said he was impressed with the commitment of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) to the cause of proper and timely care for patients with the virus.
“There is no reason why Nigeria should be the highest producer of babies infected with HIV because, we have put in great efforts in the past. Obviously, more is required to achieve more results,” he added.
The minister expressed hope that the reinvigorated fight against the virus would result in significant drop in spread and good attention given to people living with the virus.
The post Nigeria highest producer of HIV-infected babies – FG appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.