||Gabriel ADEYEMO [ profile ]
Nigeria: Experts express doubts about HIV control
Jun 6th, 2011 - 11:42:16
Source:* Nigerian Tribune*
AUTHOR: Sade Oguntola
Experts reviewing Nigeria's new HIV/AIDS prevalence rate have said it called
for studies to actually ascertain the country's HIV incidence rate in a bid
to know if the various strategies put in place by government was actually
reducing new cases of HIV, and to know if the virus is being controlled.
In an overview of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa and Nigeria at a training
workshop organised by New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society
(NHVMAS) in Sagamu, Dr Morenike Ukpong, said the problem of HIV was better
reflected by an incidence study. According to her, Nigeria's HIV prevalence
rate among pregnant women attending antenatal care which dropped to 4.1 per
cent was a reflection of all HIV/AIDS new and old cases in the population at
a given time.
Dr Ukpong, who stated that only an incidence survey would give an indication
of the rate at which new HIV cases occurred in a specified population,
declared, "when a prevalence rate drops like we saw in the Nigeria's HIV
case in barely two years, what it portray is that actually more people with
HIV had died." According to her, it was a wrong notion to believe that any
drop in HIV prevalence meant incidence of new HIV cases were reducing.
Dr Ukpong, who remarked that increasing cases of anal sex among youths and
homosexuality, as well as intravenous drug users in the country needed to be
taken into consideration, said that the lack of appropriate data on the
incidence of HIV would continue to be a challenge in ensuring a control of
Professor Olusola Olatunji, Head of Haematology and Blood Transfusion,
Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, Ogun State
said, data on HIV incidence from some health facilities indicated that new
cases of HIV might be on the rise.
Professor Olatunji said the number of HIV orphans were likely to also
increase because the fear of the disease was on the decline and more people
now have access to ARVs. He decried the dearth of data for adequate planning
of HIV interventions, and called for a more responsive attitude by the
government. According to him, tackling the AIDS crisis was a long term task
that required sustained effort and planning.
Yours' in Prevention Science
Regional Focal Point - West Africa
Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AID (GYCA)
+234-80-6798-7317 | gabriel (at) gyca.org
www.gyca.org | www.tigweb.org
GYCA is a youth-led global network of more than 5,500 young leaders and
adult allies working on youth and HIV/AIDS in over 173 countries world-wide.
GYCA's mission is to empower young leaders with the skills, knowledge,
resources and opportunities they need to scale up HIV/AIDS interventions
amongst their peers.
Universal Access is possible; *
*Zero new HIV infections. **Zero discrimination and ***Zero AIDS-related