NAN – No fewer than 110,849 people are living with HIV and AIDS in Taraba, Mr Edward Ogenyi, National Coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), said on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
Ogenyi made this disclosure in Jalingo at the commencement of a five-day Demand Generation Activities for HIV and AIDS Service Uptake in Taraba.
He said the activities marked the first phase of implementation of the President’s Comprehensive Response Plan (PCRP) for HIV and AIDS, funded by NACA/SURE-P HIV/AIDS Programme, launched in July, 2013.
“Taraba HIV prevalence is 10.5 per cent which is far above National average of 4.1 per cent according to the 2013 National Reproductive Health Survey report.
“One of the major aims of PCRP is to avail 80 million Nigerians the opportunity to know their HIV status.
“But due to limited resources, Taraba and Abia are selected for the implementation of NACA/SURE-P HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support,” he said.
Ogenyi explained that out of the 110,849 people living with HIV and AIDS in Taraba, only 27, 000 were currently receiving treatment.
He said that out of the national prevalence of 3.5 million, only 700,000 were currently on treatment.
The coordinator urged Taraba House of Assembly to prioritise HIV and AIDS in its budgetary allocation for 2016 and beyond.
He said this would enable the state government take over the ownership of the response to serve as a model for other states in the country.
Dr Musa Obadiah, Team Leader, Taraba Project Implementation on HIV/AIDS Response, said the state government had approved N500 million to fight the scourge in 2015.
Mr Abraham Johnson, the representative of NEPWHAN in the State Action Committee on AIDS Board, said the committee was doing everything possible to ensure that more patients access treatment in the state.
He urged the people to go to the nearest health facility to know their status in order to tackle the pervasive prevalence rate in the state.