Nigeria Is The 4th Country With Highest HIV/AIDS victims - Minister

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Nigeria has dropped from second to the fourth country worst hit by the Human Immuno Virus (HIV) epidemic in the world, as the results from Nigeria HIV/ AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS), shows that 1.9 million Nigerians are presently living with the virus.

According to him, this is an improvement to what was obtained in 2014, when the country was estimated to have 3.1 million people living with the virus in the country.

"The Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey represents an extraordinary example of what can be achieved by working together", Young said adding that, "the USA government looks forward to increased government of Nigeria ownership and investment in the HIV response to ensure sustainability".

The South-south geopolitical zone has the highest HIV prevalence among adults age 15 to 64 years in the country with 3.1 percent, while the Northwest had the lowest prevalence rate with 0.6 percent.

Latest statistics by the Nigerian HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) has indicated that about 1.9 million Nigerians are living with HIV/AIDS in the country. This, she said, will ensure that women living with HIV can receive treatment and give birth to children free of HIV.

Aliyu assured that the survey would provide programme managers and policy makers with a more detailed and specific understanding of HIV epidemic in the country.

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"We truly appreciate the effort of organisations which have supported this survey and made it a reality, we look forward to more collaboration to ensure we achieve 2030 target of eradicating the epidemic". We must ensure pregnant women have access to antenatal services and are tested during every pregnancy.

"This survey is good news, because it is showing clearly that we have less people infected with HIV, less cases of new infection and less death due to HIV".

She thanked development partners, whose support in the HIV response has been invaluable, and charged government at all levels to increase funding for HIV response using Nigeria's own domestic resources.

Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Sani Aliyu stated "It is important that all people living with HIV get into treatment and achieve viral suppression". "As a government working with our partners, we have what it takes to support people who are HIV-positive, to provide treatment, to protect their families and to help people live long and healthy lives".

He made this known in Abuja at the unveiling of findings on the largest global survey on HIV and AIDS.