The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and 12 states of the federation have been identified by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS as HIV endemic areas of the country.
Prof. John Idoko, the NACA Director-General, stated on Tuesday in Ikom, Cross River State at a four-day free HIV and AIDS Medical Outreach Pogramme: “There are 12 states and the Federal Capital Territory that accounts for 70 per cent of HIV burden in Nigeria.
“And that includes Cross River State.”
The other states, Idoko said, include Lagos, Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Benue and Kano.
The rest are Kaduna, Imo, Sokoto, Plateau, Edo and Rivers States.
Idoko said that 3.2 million people were currently living with the virus in the country.
He said that based on 2012 national survey, the HIV prevalence rate had reduced from 3.6 per cent to 3.4 per cent.
Idoko, who was represented by Dr. Priscilla Ibekwe, the Acting Director of the Programme Coordination Department of NACA, said the exercise was to provide opportunity for the people to know about their HIV status.
Idoko said: “We are here to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS in addition to providing opportunity for people to know their HIV status.
“So we have taken a strategic approach to focus on these states knowing that resources are limited.
“We are encouraging and scaling-up programmes in the 12 plus one states.
“We are doing this in such a way that where the burden is, we want to get as many people for treatment as possible.
“Obviously around the whole country, work will also be going on regarding HIV, but in a strategic approach.
“When you have limited resources, you want to scale-up where the big problem is.”
Idoko said the integrated programme involved blood pressure check, blood glucose, sugar, malaria and other common disease conditions.
He said: “We also give out insecticide treated nets.
“For those who are positive, our officers conduct tests for hepatitis A and B, TB and weight loss.
“This is in line with Mr. President’s Comprehensive Response Plan for HIV, which was launched in 2013 to ensure that more than 80 million Nigerians know their status in order to wipe out HIV and to achieve one of the MDG goals by 2015.
“We are targeting at least 3,000 people in this programme and that can be done.”
Roy Ndoma-Egba said the Cross River State Government was doing everything possible to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS infection in the state.
Ndoma-Egba said that government was taking an institutionalised approach to ensure a reduction in HIV prevalence rate across the state.
Some beneficiaries of the integrated health outreach programme as very rewarding.
Ndoma-Egba added: “I thank Mr President for this programme.
“I thank our governor.
“And I say it is the best thing that has happened in this local government area.”