The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on Thursday, said the AIDS-related deaths in the country have declined from 264,463 in 2015 to about 51,000 in 2022.
Mustapha said this at an event in Abuja in commemoration of the 2022 World AIDS Day with the theme: ‘Equalize to End AIDS: Equal access to Treatment and Prevention services.’
The WAD is celebrated every December 1 annually to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories, such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.
The SGF said “Since this administration commenced in 2015, I am happy to note that our ongoing efforts to improve access to HIV services have led to a significant reduction in new HIV infections from over 103,000 in 2019 to 92,323 in 2021. In a similar vein, AIDS-related deaths significantly declined from an estimated 264,463 persons at the beginning of this administration to about 51,000 as of October this year.
“Treatment access experienced tremendous improvement since this administration came on board and we can gladly proclaim that access to Anti-Retro Viral Drugs and treatment for HIV has increased more than two-fold in the past five years with about 1.8 million persons now on treatment compared to about 800,000 persons on treatment in 2017.
“The achievements above are heartwarming but HIV still remains an unfinished business because of barriers that pose a threat to ending AIDS by 2030 if not tackled headlong.”
“I also use this opportunity to urge all State Houses of Assembly who are yet to pass the anti-discrimination bill for HIV
to speedily do so. I kindly appeal to State Governors to abolish the payment of user fees that limit access of pregnant women to antenatal Services during pregnancy.”
In his welcome address, the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr. Gambo Aliyu said Nigeria is focused on achieving epidemic control with about 90 per cent of PLHIV already identified and currently on treatment.
Gambo said “We have recorded significant growth in key population treatment sites from 10 in 2017 providing treatment to about 16,000 PLHIV to 118 sites in 2021 with coverage of over 220,000.
“Kindly recall that President Muhammadu Buhari launched the N62 Billion HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria in February this year. Today, we shall witness the launch of the online donation portal of the Fund to ensure no one is left behind in our collective effort to end AIDS by 2030.
“Similarly, in line with alignment 2.0, HIV prevention and treatment is shifting ownership to States and today we shall witness the signing of the sustainability agreement for Taraba and Abia States.”