"1.8 Million Nigerians Live With HIV/AIDS" NACA Reveals
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS says that 1.8 million people in Nigeria currently live with HIV/AIDS and that about 51 , 000 persons living with the infection died in the first two quarters of 2020.
NACA Director -General , Dr . Gambo Aliyu, who spoke with newsmen partly blamed the high mortality on lack of access to treatment and the disruption of medical services brought about by the COVID- 19 pandemic .
He feared that the number of deaths among PLWHA may worsen , if the disruption to HIV/AIDS treatment persists for another six months.
On July 6 , a survey conducted by the World Health Organisation showed 73 countries have been warned that they were at risk of stock – outs of antiretroviral medicines as a result of the COVID- 19 pandemic .
The United Nations agency had noted that 24 of those countries were either already having a critically low stock of ARVs or disruptions in the supply of the life – saving medicines.
The survey followed a modelling exercise convened by WHO and UNAIDS in May which forecasted that a six – month disruption in access to ARVs could lead to a doubling in AIDS – related deaths in sub – Saharan Africa in 2020 alone .
The NACA director also predicted that an estimated new HIV infection in 2020 , which presently stands at 48 , 000, could further increase astronomically to 100 , 000 .
While bemoaning the disruption brought about by the pandemic , Aliyu appealed to corporate bodies in the private sector to collaborate with NACA to empower people living with HIV/ AIDS .
He commended some private organisations for taking the bold initiative to distribute palliative packages to the homes of some PLWHA .