2.3 million Nigerians undergoing HIV testing, treatment — IHVN

The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has said that more than 2.3 million Nigerians are undergoing HIV testing and treatment in parts of the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of the institute, Dr Patrick Dakum, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

The statement was signed by Mr Dennis Mordi, the Communication Manager of IHVN.

Dakum said that more people were being tested and placed on anti-retroviral treatment in nine priority local government areas in Benue, Nasarawa and the FCT Abuja.

According to him, more than 2.3 million people have been provided with HIV testing services out of which over 25,000 people tested positive to HIV.

The chief executive officer added that more than 23,000 people living with HIV have been placed on treatment.

Dakum said that the IHVN is currently working in eight local government areas to achieve epidemic control as part of the 90-90-90 strategy of reaching 90 per cent of people in communities with high burden of HIV with HIV testing services.

This “includes giving quality treatment to 90 per cent of those identified as HIV positive and ensuring viral suppression in at least 90 per cent of those being treated.

“The significance of achieving epidemic control is that new infections are not as high as people who are being placed on treatment,’’ he said.

He pledged that IHVN would continue to support the maintenance of treatment for current patients in the other local government areas within its funding.

The IHVN chief executive also assured that quality treatment would be given to 90 per cent of those identified as HIV positive and ensuring viral suppression in at least 90 per cent of those being treated.

He said that epidemic control has resulted in the reduction of the burden of HIV in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

“600 people in Obi LGA living with HIV were newly placed on HIV treatment out of the 773 people that tested positive to HIV.

“This was possible due to the collaboration with government, public and private partners and community-based organisations,” Dakum said.

He said that 95 per cent epidemic control was attained in Buruku Local Government Area of Benue, thereby reducing new HIV infections in Karu, Nasarawa, Doma and Lafia local government areas of Nasarawa State.

Ushongo and Konshisha local government areas of and Benue, and Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory are the other beneficiaries of the intervention programme.