The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged concerted efforts to reduce the national prevalence of HIV/AIDS from the current 3.4 per cent to less than 2 per cent within the next five years.
The NMA spoke through its national President, Dr Osahon Enabulele, on Sunday, in a message to the nation’s 36 states to mark this year's World AIDS Day.
It expressed worry over the increasing rate of cases of HIV/AIDS among Nigerians, especially among the adolescents who had continued to remain vulnerable because of their adventurous life style.
``The Nigerian Medical Association decries the continued persistence of the socio-demographic factors in the epidemiology of the disease, and its high level in the distribution of the disease among Nigerians.
``The continued high prevalence of maternal to child transmission remains a great challenge to all stakeholders in this business and particularly of great concern to the NMA,’’ the statement said.
It said that with Nigeria looking forward to its centenary anniversary next year, governments at all levels should make the reduction of HIV/AIDS prevalence and eradication a cardinal objective.
``The governments should make it as priority project in their budgets as appropriation activities are gearing up for the next fiscal year at various legislative houses in the country,’’ the statement said.
It said that the association emphatically identified with the theme and slogan of this year’s celebration: ``Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero Discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.
``The association identifies with the World Health Organisation’s focus this year of improving access to prevention, treatment and care services for adolescents.’’
The association lauded the National Assembly for providing the legal framework to tackle HIV/AIDS in the country.
It said: ``We congratulate various legislative houses across the country for their efforts in lending legislative support to the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
``We wish all the orphaned and vulnerable children, who owe their present statuses to the disease, very well.