No fewer than 1.6 million Nigerians out of the 1.9 million living with the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus are on treatment. Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Gambo Gumel Aliyu, disclosed this to The Guardian in an interview ahead of World AIDS Day (WAD) 2021, today.
Aliyu also said the country is close to meeting the 90-90-90 target and ending Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) by 2030. 90–90–90 is an ambitious treatment target by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to help end the AIDS epidemic.
It states that by 2030, 90 per cent of all people living with HIV will know their status; by 2020, 90 per cent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and by 2020, 90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
Aliyu said: “Our estimate shows that between 1.8 to 1.9 million Nigerians are currently living with HIV/AIDS. Of this number, 1.6 million are already on treatment. So, we have 300,000 more to go.”
The theme of WAD 2021 is ‘End inequalities. End AIDS.’ With a special focus on reaching people left behind, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its partners are highlighting the growing inequalities in access to essential HIV services.
WHO is calling on global leaders and citizens to rally around and confront the inequalities that drive AIDS and to reach people who are currently not receiving essential HIV services.
This year marks 40 years since the first cases of AIDS were reported. Since that time, where investments have met ambition, there has been huge progress, particularly in expanding access to treatment. By June 2021, 28.2 million people have had access to HIV treatment, up from 7.8 million in 2010, although progress has slowed considerably.
In a statement yesterday, WHO said of the 37,700,000 estimated number of people living with HIV in 2020, 680,000 people died from HIV-related causes 2020. It noted that 1,500,000 people were newly infected in 2020 and 73 per cent of adults living with HIV received lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2020.
MEANWHILE, the joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), yesterday, issued a stark warning that if leaders fail to tackle inequalities, the world could face 7.7 million AIDS-related deaths over the next 10 years. It noted that HIV infection rates are not slowing fast enough to reach the goal of eradicating AIDS by 2030.
UNAIDS further warned that if the transformative measures needed to end AIDS are not taken, the world will also stay trapped in the COVID-19 crisis and remain dangerously unprepared for the pandemics to come. According to the agency, shortcomings in the pandemic response can also be seen in the fight against the decades-old disease.
According to the most recent UNAIDS statistics, 38 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and in 2020 alone, 1.5 million people became newly infected with HIV.
It noted that new HIV infections are not falling fast enough globally to stop the pandemic, with 1.5 million new HIV infections in 2020 and growing HIV infection rates in some countries.
Infections are also following lines of inequality. Six in seven new HIV infections among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa are occurring. Gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who use drugs face a 25–35 times greater risk of acquiring HIV worldwide.
The report highlighted five urgent Global AIDS Strategy priorities it said should be funded and implemented globally “for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.” They include access to preventative equipment like condoms and clean needles, as well as support for community-based health services.
A new analysis suggests countries may be under-reporting the size of at-risk populations and highlights the need for better data, it said.
UNAIDS said the disease could kill 7.7 million people between 2021 and 2030 if the availability of preventative measures and treatments remain at 2019 levels.
“HIV/AIDS is still responsible for nearly 700,000 deaths worldwide each year. While world leaders must battle COVID-19, including committing to real action on global vaccine access, they must also keep the promise on AIDS by ensuring HIV testing and lifesaving treatment reaches everyone who needs it.
“AHF will host diverse commemorative live and virtual events in most of its 45 countries. The events seek to refocus the world on the AIDS pandemic and the people living with or affected by HIV globally and to serve as reminders of the importance of access to HIV testing, prevention, and treatment. Advocates everywhere are encouraged to join us as the world continues battling to end one of the deadliest infectious diseases in history, accounting for more than 36 million deaths globally since the start of ‘the other pandemic.”
In Nigeria, AHF Nigeria will host two youths themed events, one at the Wuse Market in Abuja, spearheaded by adolescents, especially AHF Abuja Girls Act Chapter and other youth groups in a fun-filled outreach to draw the attention of young people to the challenges of HIV while impacting the needed knowledge they need to prevent themselves from the infection and to show the gains of staying on treatment for those who are positive.
January 25, 2022
January 25, 2022
January 25, 2022
January 25, 2022