‘Two million condoms to be distributed in 2018’

Hacey Health Initiative and Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCCA) have recommended scaling up the distribution of condoms to at least two million Nigerians in 2018.

The coalition also called for increased support to at least 100,000 persons living with HIV through the provision of anti-retroviral drugs and strong referral channels.

Speaking during testing and counseling exercises supported by Access Bank Plc, in line with the belief of the bank that the private sector can play a huge role in eliminating HIV, Programme Coordinator, Hacey Health Initiative, Owolabi Isaiah, said the recent United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDs) report shows that in 2016, Nigeria had 220,000 new HIV infections and 160,000 AIDS-related deaths.

“There were 3,200,000 people living with HIV in 2016, among whom 30 per cent were accessing anti-retroviral therapy.”

Isaiah said that National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) 2017 statistics indicated that only about 10 per cent of Nigerians ever took an HIV test once.

While HIV remains the second largest epidemic globally with key populations disproportionately impacted by the epidemic, he said the only way to reduce prevalence was ensure that those that tested positive have access to treatment.

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