Anambra has over 98,000 HIV/AIDS patients – Commissioner

The Anambra State Aids Control Agency and the state Ministry of Health have disclosed that no fewer than 98,960 persons are living with HIV/AIDS in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, gave the figure in Awka, on Thursday, during a media briefing ahead of the 2023 World AIDS Day observed every December 1, since 1988.

Obidike said the state was making the needed progress towards the attainment of the Global 95-95-95 targets after it ranked fifth highest in the country.

He said, “With the national prevalence of 1.4 per cent, our state HIV prevalence is ranked fifth highest in the country and the highest in the South-East.

“It is estimated that 98,960 residents are living with HIV out of which 58 per cent know their status and 44,808  are currently on treatment.

“The state is making the needed progress towards attainment of the Global 95-95-95 targets of which we are at 65:81:93.

“And worthy of note is the gradual decline in new infections, which is at 46 per cent between 2021 and 2023 and AIDS-related death, which is at 32 per cent  between 2021 and 2023.

“We are scaling 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, HIV is no longer a death sentence.”

According to the commissioner, the state was also scaling up access to HIV self-testing to tackle stigma and discrimination.

Also speaking, the Director of Public Health, Dr Afam Anaeme, described HIV/AIDS as one of the diseases of public health importance.

Anaeme said, “With the participation of everyone, we can reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Anambra.”

In his remarks, the Executive Director of ANSACA, Mr Johnbosco Ementa, urged residents to take advantage of the free testing centres across the state to know their status.

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

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

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


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