The new HIV prevalence rate for states in Nigeria is out , and it raises a lot of questions. Some states witnessed very dramatic and disturbing rise, while others experienced great decline. Benue state which has been at the top of the leader board for a while now , dropped significantly to 9th place.
Rivers state , which currently sits at the top of states prevalence ladder, rose from 10th place in 2012 to 1st place in 2014; with one of the highest prevalence recorded by a state in recent times 15.2%.
Ekiti state is at the bottom of the prevalence ladder with 0.2%, which is great but be that as it may, more needs to be done in order to avoid a rise in future reports.
The question therefore is where does your state stand in the recent country progress report and what does it mean?
In case you are wondering what prevalence means; the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it thus: the degree to which something is prevalent; especially : the percentage of a population that is affected with a particular disease at a given time
Based on the foregoing , it is important to know how robust or lackluster your state’s HIV/AIDS response plan is. You have a right to know! We need to get our state and the Federal government to be committed to the national HIV/AIDS response through scale up in testing, treatment , PMTCT, Lab monitoring, education and funding etc.
According to The National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey (NARHS, 2012), Nigeria’s overall HIV prevalence has dropped from 4.1% to 3.4%. This ought to be commended; but the overarching gaps in treatment & testing; as well as little decline in new infections makes it difficult to do the happy dance at the new national prevalence percentage.
Statistics source : National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey (NARHS, 2012) & Nigeria GARPR 2014