No fewer than 81,481 persons are living with the dreaded human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, in Ondo State, a top health official said.
Dr. Sani Aliu, the Director-General of the National Agency for Control of Aids, NACA, confirmed this yesterday in Ondo, Ondo West Local Government Area of the state.
Aliu said this when he paid a visit to Oba Victor Kiladejo, the Osemawe of Ondo, to seek the king’s support to mobilise his subjects for NACA survey in the area.
The survey is tagged: Nigeria Aids Indicator and Impact Survey.
The NACA DG, who was represented by Mrs Josephine Kalu, the Director of Resource Mobilisation of NACA, said that 10,000 persons out of the affected persons were on treatment.
“Based on spectrum estimate we have, 81,481 persons that are living with HIV in Ondo State as at 2017 and out of the figure 10,000 persons are on treatment including 2,783 pregnant women. Also, the estimate for new HIV infection is 5,439 persons,” he said.
According to him, the survey is the largest HIV population based survey in Nigeria being supported by the U.S. and Global Funds.
He noted that the survey was important for proper planning and development of strategies that would lead to eradication of HIV and hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
“The focus of the survey is able to gather data that will help to fight current level of HIV and hepatitis B and hepatitis C as we are looking at 2030 for a HIV-free generation. We cannot but have data that can be effectively used to fight these,” he said.
Aliu enjoined more domestic resources to curb HIV.
Oba Kiladejo commended efforts of the agency and urged it to do more on counselling and to focus more on the vulnerable areas.
The monarch who expressed worry with the high number of persons living with HIV, asked for more funds to fight it.
The NACA team had earlier paid a visit to the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro.
Adegbenro thanked the agency for its continued support, saying the survey would no doubt address problems of public health.
The commissioner promised that the state government would give its support for the success of the survey.