No fewer than 1,196,300 People Living with HIV were on treatment in 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory as of June 2022.
This is according to the Nigeria HIV/AIDS epidemic control fact sheet made available to our correspondent by the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Centre said the number of PLWHA receiving treatment increased from 454,663 in April 2019 to 1,196,300 as of June 2022 in the 19 states.
The states captured in the report are Katsina, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Gombe, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo.
Other states are Ogun, Lagos, Ondo, Delta, Imo, Rivers, Abia, Benue, and the FCT.
The report showed that within 38 months, 18.3 million clients received HIV counselling and testing while 705,485 PLWHA were identified and reported during the review period.
It also noted that from October 2021 to June 2022, 5.4mn clients received HIV counselling and testing, while 162,780 PLWHA were identified and reported.
Speaking with our correspondent during the USCDC consultative meeting with Nigerian states’ Commissioners of Health, the CDC Country Director, Dr. Mary Boyd said efforts are ongoing to strengthen state leadership in managing HIV response.
“The U.S CDC has been serving in Nigeria for 20 years and this is year 21 and we have various areas we support in health security as well as HIV and Tuberculosis. Over the past two years, the CDC along with the US Embassy has launched a number of HIV treatment surge initiatives with the state lead.
‘’That effort has been successful and today about 1.9 million PLWHA in Nigeria enjoying life-saving treatment and they will go on to have normal, long, productive lives as a result of this collaboration.
“We are trying to create a foundation that strengthens state leadership in managing the HIV response and we believe this is important if we are to strengthen the progress that we have made with the HIV response,” she said.
The National Coordinator of the National AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections Control and Hepatitis Programme, Dr. Akudo Ikpeazu also said the states need to get actively involved in case finding, especially with paediatric HIV.
“One of the issues with paediatric HIV is case finding. Finding these children is a big challenge but we are working to expand on the work so that paediatric HIV can be addressed.
“Beyond case finding, when kids get on treatment, they do well and retaining them on the treatment is dependent on the parents and the caregivers. The states need to get in the drives seat and lead the process,” Ikpeazu said.