See The Top 3 States With HIV/AIDS Prevalence In Nigeria.
NAN – Rivers State has topped the new chart of HIV/AIDS prevalent states in Nigeria with 15.5 percent. Taraba state was rated second on the chart with 10.5 percent, while Kaduna State was placed third with 9.2 percent.
Nasarawa, FCT, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Oyo and Benue States were rated fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth positions respectively on the chart.
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the rating came as a result of test carried out on persons living with HIV/AIDS.
During the launch of the Guinness World Record on HIV in Markurdi, the Benue State Capital on Sunday, wife of the state governor, Eunice Ortom, stated that Benue state had recorded significant progress in its fight against the deadly virus.
Mrs. Ortom, who is the chairman, board of governors for Benue State Aids Control Agency (BENSACA), noted that Benue state had topped the chart of HIV/AIDS prevalence states in Nigeria over the past years. She said that its ninth position on the recently released list was as a result of the dedication and collaborative efforts of BENSACA and her partners.
She said, “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,” she said.
“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.”
She quoted a report of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which showed that 7,000 persons were newly infected with the virus everyday in spite of the global adoption of getting to zero case.
She disclosed a plan of the AHF to break the Guinness World Record on HIV test by testing 10,000 persons and issuing results to all tested in eight hours, adding that it would ensure people got access to testing and counseling services urgently.
Still speaking on the AHF’S plan Ortom said, “the concept of testing 10,000 persons and producing results within eight hours is, therefore, not just an exercise for the purpose of breaking the Guinness World Record, but to send a strong message to the world”.
“The message is that testing is the first step to prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS and everyone needs to know his or her status.”
Ortom said that targeting epidemic hotspots in big cities to ensure equal access to quality, cost effective HIV prevention and programmes was necessary for achieving zero tolerance.
She also noted that the policy statement of UNAIDS and WHO explained that HIV testing must be hinged on a human right approach that paid respect to ethical principles.
She said that in developing countries like Nigeria, home-based HIV testing and counselling was an emerging approach towards addressing confidentiality issues, adding that HIV test must be confidential and accompanied with counselling for carriers of the virus.