Osibanjo: Nigeria Is Winning The War Against Hiv/Aids

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday said that Nigeria was winning the war against HIV/AIDS with a significant reduction in its prevalence from 5.8 per cent in 2001 to 1.4 per cent in 2019.

The Vice President spoke in Abuja at the presentation of a book, ‘Turning the tide: AIDS in Nigeria’ by AIDS Prevention in Nigeria Public Health Initiatives. Osinbajo was represented by the Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, at the event.

He said that due to government intervention and commitment, the global rating, which before now placed Nigeria second among countries with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world, now rated the country lower.

Osinbajo said, “The book launch is coming at an auspicious time to showcase our response to HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nigeria, an effort that has brought a significant reduction in the prevalence of the disease.

“Since the first case was diagnosed in Nigeria in 1986, the adult HIV prevalence rose from 1.8 per cent in 1991 to 5.8 per cent in 2001.

It then declined to 1.4 per cent in 2019 as inferred from the national AIDS indicator and impact survey.

“This decline in HIV prevalence is a direct result of government commitment to HIV response supported by international donors and multilateral agencies. The global HIV and AIDS statistics from 2019 fact sheet indicate that approximately 36.9million people are living with HIV with 21.7 million people accessing anti-retroviral therapy globally.”

APIN Chief Executive Officer, Prosper Okonkwo, said that the book described the multi-sectoral response to the epidemic with implications for future policies with global relevance. He added that the human side of the epidemic was also described in the book to acknowledge the challenges to AIDS patients in Nigeria.