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Almost 2 million HIV/AIDS Cases In Nigeria

World AIDS Day (WAD), marked yesterday, December 1, 2022, again drew attention to the disease and highlighted the need for accelerated efforts in its control. 

What do the records say? 

Although it claims a reduction in HIV/AIDS deaths and new infections across the country, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) estimates that there are about 1.8 million cases of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. It, however, noted that these are only the known cases who have been tested and receiving treatment. “We have an estimate of about 1.8 million and we are working with our data to know the actual number that is now very active, that is, they are alive and receiving medications”, said Dr. Gambo Gumel Aliyu, the Director General of NACA. This year’s World AIDS Day also highlighted Africa’s battle with the deadly disease. 

How many cases are there in Africa? 

Data from the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) says that, in 2021, 650,000 lives were lost to AIDS, while there were 1.5 million new cases of HIV infection globally. According to the UNAIDS data, out of the estimated 38.4 million people living with HIV at the end of 2021, more than 66% (25.6 million) were in Africa. While NACA said that the Federal Government had spent more than N18b in three years on HIV capital projects, the Guardian reported finding out that persons living with HIV still pay some fees for supposedly ‘free’ treatment offered by the Federal Government. 

Reiterating the need to eliminate the inequalities that have slowed the fight against the disease, World AIDS Day 2022 was tagged “Equalise”. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also said there were 110,000 youths under age 19 who died last year from AIDS. On Nigeria’s chances of ending HIV infection in 2030, Aliyu downplayed that possibility since there’s still no cure for the disease. He, however, expressed hope that the manifestation of AIDS might be stopped by the year 2030. 

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