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Commissioner: Over 98,000 living with HIV in Anambra | Only 58% know their status

Commissioner: Over 98,000 living with HIV in Anambra | Only 58% know their status
November 30
20:13 2023

Afam Obidike, commissioner for health in Anambra, says about 98,960 people are living with HIV/AIDS in the state. 

Obidike spoke on Thursday in Awka during a media briefing ahead of 2023 World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day is commemorated globally on December 1 to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS and honour the lives of those affected by the disease.

This year’s commemoration has the global theme “Let communities lead and domesticated in Nigeria as communities’ leadership to end AIDS by 2030”.

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Obidike said with the national prevalence of 1.4 percent, Anambra’s HIV prevalence is ranked 5th in the country and the highest in south-east.

The commissioner said the state is making the progress towards attaining the global targets or reducing prevalence and increasing treatment.

“It is estimated that 98,960 residents are living with HIV out of which 58 percent know their status and only 44,808 are currently on treatment,” he said.

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“Worthy of note is the gradual decline in new infections which is at 46 percent between 2021 and 2023 and AIDS related death which is at 32 percent between 2021 and 2023.

“We have scaled up prevention of mother-to-child transmission services to ensure that no woman transmits this infection to her baby.

“The good news is that with the advent of anti retro-viral therapy (ART), HIV is no longer a death sentence.”

The commissioner said the state is also scaling up access to HIV self-testing to tackle stigma and discrimination.

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In his remarks, Johnbosco Ementa, executive director of Anambra State AIDS Control Agency (ANSACA), urged residents to take advantage of the free testing centres across the state to know their status.

Ementa said that the state government
increased the number of HIV treatment sites from 104 to 1,182, with the collaboration of implementing partners.

“ANSACA also deployed mobile testing units, home-based testing, and community outreaches, to significantly improve HIV testing coverage and accessibility,” he said.

“We appreciate our partners – Achieving Health Nigeria Initiative, AIDS Health-care Foundation, UNAIDS, CHAI and Global Fund for their support.”

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