Benue state ranks 9th in HIV/AIDS prevalence in Nigeria

The first lady of Benue state, Mrs. Eunice Ortom.Mrs Eunice Ortom, wife of Benue State Governor, on Sunday, said that the state was now ranked ninth in the current HIV/AIDS prevalence rating in the country.

Ortom, who is also the Chairman, Board of Governors for Benue State Aids Control Agency (BENSACA), said this during the launch of the "Guinness World Record on HIV Test’’ in Markurdi.

The HIV/ AIDS prevalence rate by states in Nigeria was published by National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) after the 2013 National Aids Reproductive Health Survey.

The rating also came as a result of test carried out on persons living with HIV/AIDS.

It showed that Rivers with 15.5 per cent topped the new prevalence chat, as Taraba with 10.5 per cent is second, while Kaduna has 9.2 per cent to be on the third.

Nasarawa, FCT, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto and Oyo are on the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth spots respectively on the prevalence rate chart.

She said Benue had over the years been rated highest in HIV and AIDS prevalence, adding that with such laudable HIV test event, it was indicative that the journey to achieving zero case was ``just a mile away''.

She added that "Benue had the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Nigeria, but due to the dedicated and collaborative efforts of BENSACA and other partners, the state had been lifted to be the ninth in the country.

"Our focus over the years is to get to zero prevalence, which implies zero infections, zero HIV-related deaths and zero discrimination against persons with the virus."

The BENSACA chairman quoted a World Health Organisation (WHO) report which indicated that7,000 persons were newly infected with the virus everyday in spite of the global adoption of getting to zero case.

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