The Society for Family Health, a non-governmental organisation, says more than 3.2 million Nigerians are still living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Bright Ekweremadu, managing director of the society, said this in Abuja on Thursday during a forum to mark the end of Enhancing Nigeria’s Response (ENR) to HIV and AIDS programme.
He solicited realistic programmes to fight the virus, insisting that with the prevalent rate, much had to be done to tackle the menace.
“There have been tremendous improvements in addressing and halting the HIV and AIDS burden in Nigeria, [but] there is still a lot to be done, especially in regard to expanding access to services,” he said.
“ENR was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to promote sexual reproductive health and HIV reduction in Nigeria. Its goal was to also contribute to reducing the spread of HIV epidemic and mitigating the impact of AIDS in Nigeria.”
He said the ENR programme, which is for a duration of six years, was inaugurated in 2009 with a focus on eight high-prevalent states.
He said the programme sets to improve access to effective HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support information and services for people most vulnerable to infection.
Ekweremadu thanked the DFID for funding the programme and for the long-standing support and partnership.
Kemi Williams, the representative of DFID, said Nigeria had the second highest prevalent rate of HIV and called for concerted effort to check the scourge.
She said that through the ENR, “comprehensive HIV knowledge increased from 45 per cent for males and 38 per cent for females by 2014”.
She noted that 1.2 billion male condoms and 4 million female condoms were distributed in the six years of the programme.
“These condoms, with the associated health promotion and increased use, prevented an estimated 109, 364 new HIV infections,’’ she said.
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