Director-General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu disclosed that Nigeria is way behind in reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Akwa-Ibom and Benue States have the highest prevalent rate. Furthermore, Taraba, Anambra and Abia States also have a high prevalence. Moreover, he talked about the likely reasons for the increase in AIDS prevalence.
“This is largely first because of behaviour. The second reason is culture. If you look at North Africa, you will see that the prevalence of HIV is very low simply because of religious and cultural influence. Even here in Nigeria, if you look at the far North, you will see that the prevalence is low because of the way of life and cultural and religious influences.
“If you look at some communities nationally, because of culture and behaviour, you will see that the prevalence is very high because of the way people live, interact, and the way they socialise.
“These are very important. The last is education. It is not the level of education that a person has but the level of education that individuals have in terms of awareness about the disease, in terms of prevention measures, and in terms of the ability to use those prevention measures. It is one thing to know that this thing works in preventing HIV and it is another thing to use it.”
This Agency wants 95 per cent of the population to know their HIV status. Positive individuals are placed on treatment and have suppressed viral loads by 2030.