The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has revealed that Nigeria is winning the war against HIV/AIDS, even though the country is still suffering from other disease-related death.
In a recent survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) titled: ‘Statistical Report on Women and Men in Nigeria’, the country was allegedly prone to killer diseases like; malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis, diarrhoea, hepatitis B and measles among others.
The report revealed that, HIV/AIDS accounted for the highest proportion of infected females (63.5 percent) as against 36.5 percent reported for males in the referenced period (2010-2013).
According to the report, Malaria, a second killer disease, accounted for 53.4 percent female patients and 46. 6 percent male patients within the same period.
NACA, which is the agency of the Federal Government with responsibility for the management and control of HIV/AIDS and the coordination of the activities of stakeholders involved in the fight against the pandemic, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, keeps record of AIDS deaths in the country.
The director-general of agency, Prof. John Idoko, disclosed that the report only gave unfounded percentages of AIDS deaths without stating the total number of deaths upon which the percentages were based.
The NACA DG insisted that if the factual AIDS deaths given were taken into cognizance, malaria which accounted for 108,453 deaths in 2012 and 46,612 deaths in 2013, according to the ‘Summary distribution of deaths by causes, year and sex’, by far accounted for more deaths than AIDS in Nigeria within the period.
Idoko, said HIV prevalence had declined from 5.8 percent in 2001 to 4.1 percent in 2010 and that new HIV infections declined by about 50 percent from 338,423 in 2005 to 176,701 in 2015. He maintained that HIV/AIDS had been in decline in Nigeria in the past five years, due to improved funding by the Federal Government and the sustained efforts of international partners.
He said, this has made it possible for the number of people living with HIV who are on Anti Retroviral Therapy to sharply increase from 359,181 in 2010 to 747,382 in 2014.
“There are more remarkable improvements attributable to Nigeria’s HIV response. For instance, the number of HIV counselling and testing sites across the country from 1,046 in 2010 to 8,114 in 2014. The number of people tested for HIV has significantly increased from 1,380,418 in 2010 to 7,101,636 in 2014,” he concluded.