Nigerians Must know their HIV/AIDS Status Says, Minister of Health

Group of Nigerian Youth Recognised For Smart Idea on HIV/AIDS Self Testing Contest

Nigeria

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has explained why Nigerians need to know their HIV status, in celebration of 2018 World AIDs Day in line with the theme for this year’s commemoration of the global event. The World AIDS Day is marked every December 1 to encourage communities to unite against HIV, show support for people living with the disease, and remember those who have passed away due to AIDS. The theme for the Day this year, which is on the 30th anniversary of the first celebration of the World AIDS Day, is “Know Your Status.” The Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) set the 90-90-90 target, the first 90 were for 90 percent of people to know their HIV status by 2020. The two other aspects of the target are that 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV receive sustained anti-retroviral therapy, and 90 percent of the people receiving antiretroviral therapy have viral suppression. Speaking at the 2018 World AIDs Day commemoration event held at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Abuja on Thursday, Adewole, said everyone taking step to know his status would enable Nigeria to meet the first 90 targets by 2020 since only 38 percent of Nigerians know their status, which leaves a big gap between attaining the first 90 targets by 2020.. He said the theme for 2018 was chosen to emphasize the need for people to know their HIV status and also to remove barriers to HIV testing.
He also emphasized that attaining the first target is key to attaining the second and third of the 90-90-90 target. Likewise, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Sani Aliyu, stressed that AIDS response has made a significant progress, as people living with HIV can lead healthy and productive lives.

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