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Monday, December 11, 2023

HIV Infections Is On The Increase In Nigeria – Health Expert Warns

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NAN – Dr Bola Oyeledun, the Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Integrated Health Programme (CIHP), has raised alarm over the high rate of new HIV infections in Nigeria.

Oyeledun said this at a one-day stakeholders’ workshop in Makurdi on Monday.

She that the new infections were recorded mostly among youths of between the ages of 20 and 29.

However, she said that zero infection for HIV was achievable, especially among the youths, if they are adequately enlightened on their vulnerability, adding that the focus should be on treatment as prevention.

She further said that the goal was in line with the global attention which is aimed at reducing new infections as well as other bottlenecks that constitute impediment to achieving the set target.

Oyeledun said the country has been segmented into 32 priority local government areas with the highest HIV prevalent rates in five states, including Benue, Nasarawa, Cross River, Lagos and Akwa Ibom.

“It is a like a war room approach. There is need to employ the use of biological monitoring, improve quality of care and regiment. The goal standard means that every patient must get HIV test.

“The quality of service delivery must be of high standard and should be available. We must engage the youths positively.

“As it has done for Polio, so we must do same for HIV to reduce it to the barest minimum,” said the official.

Oyeledun commended stakeholders in the state for the positive job they are doing in scaling down the infection, urging the leadership of CIHP in the state not to relent in ensuring the drastic reduction of the disease.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Cecilia Ojabo, said government’s target is to reduce the infection to zero level, averring that attention is on the youths who remain the vulnerable group.

“If you reduce the infection amongst the youths, then the society will be free,’’ she said.

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