The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), has disclosed that one of its priorities is to double the number of people living with HIV on drugs from 600,000 to 1.2 million by 2014.
The director general of NACA, Professor John Idoko, who revealed this in Abuja at the commemoration of the 2013 World AIDS Day, with the theme: “take charge: get a HIV test”, said the plan would be achieved when the agency adapts the new World Health Organisation (WHO) ART guidelines.
“3.5 million persons live with HIV, out of which 1.5 million are in need of treatment. This number will go up with the adaption of the new WHO guidelines on ART,” he explained.
Dr Idoko said the agency was also aiming at testing at least 40 million people annually as well as providing intervention for 224,000 pregnant women who are HIV positive in PMTCT programme, saying the target was to achieve 90 per cent reduction in mother to child transmission by 2014.
He said that there was a decline in infections in both children and adults globally. He noted that it will be impossible to lay the foundation for the pandemic’s end without progress in reducing new infections among adults and children.
“Nigeria has an ANC prevalence of 4.1% (ANC survey, 2010) and population prevalence of 3.4% (NARHS, 2012). Current NARHS data indicates reduction of HIV prevalence in many of the 12+1 states,” he stated while calling on all Nigerians to get tested and know their HIV status.
Professor Idoko also encouraged all pregnant women to access ANC services and PMTCT interventions while calling for support for those living with HIV.