New HIV infections in Nigeria drop by 22% – WHO

According to the World Health Organization, Nigeria has registered a 22 percent decrease in the number of new human immunodeficiency virus infections by 2021.

The WHO also said 90 percent of people living with HIV now have access to HIV treatment in the country.

The PUNCH reports that HIV is an infection that attacks the body’s immune system, especially the white blood cells called CD4 cells.

HIV destroys these CD4 cells, weakening a person’s immunity against opportunistic infections, such as tuberculosis and fungal infections, serious bacterial infections, and some cancers.

In a series of tweets on its Twitter page on Friday, the organization stated: “In Nigeria, 90% of people living with HIV now have access to treatment.

“95% of people with HIV knew their status in 2021.

“90% of people living with HIV will have access to treatment by 2021.

“22% decrease in new infections in 2021 compared to 2015.”

In an article on its website, the WHO said in 2018 that the country, which has the third-highest burden of HIV cases, has struggled with an ineffective response characterized by poor data quality, low service coverage, and sub-optimal coordination and ownership.

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“The government recognized the need for change and embraced a catch-up plan by the WHO to rapidly identify and receive treatment for people living with HIV in states that account for more than 50 percent of the nation’s unmet treatment needs.

“WHO has provided guidance in establishing an HIV Situation Room to coordinate logistics of goods and distribution of HIV drugs, ultimately improving service points and patient retention in care. A clinical HIV mentorship program for health professionals at the facility strengthened service delivery and equal opportunity in care,” it said.

The health agency noted that HIV treatment coverage in Nigeria was about 90 percent in 2021, up from 50 percent in 2015, when only about 61 percent of the population knew their status.

However, it said new infections are trending downward, from 95,000 in 2015 to 74,000 in 2021.

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