UNAIDS commends Nigeria’s HIV Fast-Track plan

Rafat Salami

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for launching a new plan that would speed up HIV treatment and prevention in Nigeria.

In a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja, Mr Charles-Martin Jjuuko, Communications and Global Outreach Officer, UNAIDS Nigeria, said the documents would  help to “quickly put 500,000 more people living with HIV on treatment and get Nigeria back on track to achieve the 90-90-90 treatment target.”

He also commended the plan that would “support the testing of three million more pregnant women for HIV, and treat the 75,000 who will be newly diagnosed, and fast track treatment and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV”.

President Muhammadu Buhari to commemorate the 2016 world Aids Day, had launched  two strategic documents to boost national response to HIV/AIDS, improvement of HIV care and services, and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria by 2030.

The documents are the National HIV Guidelines, Prevention, Treatment and Care 2016, and Fast tracking HIV and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) Treatment in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Borno state Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (BOSACA) says it is expanding its HIV/AIDS screening across all IDP camps, after it recorded 512 new cases of HIV in the camps.

Malam Barkindo Saidu, the Executive Secretary,  Borno Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (BOSACA), said that the cases were recorded after voluntary screening in some IDPs’ camps in the state.
“As at last week, we have recorded 512 positive cases, among which two are children,  Currently,  2.4 per cent of the population of the state are living with HIVand AIDS, which translates to  108,000 persons, going by the record of the National Population Commission “, he said.

He lamented that only a fraction of those in need of antiretroviral are getting it as only “32 out of the 90 antiretroviral centres were still operational in the state, they have been closed down due to the Boko Haram terrorism”.

He  called on the Federal Government and donor agencies to  intervene in the HIV and AIDS control in the state.