- A new report on the sources of new transmission for HIV/AIDS has been released by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS
- The agency said that the new report is an updated model of the mode of transmission study conducted in 2009
- According to the agency, there is an increase in HIV/AIDS transmission among people, male and female, who have never been married
Abuja, FCT - A new report by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has shown that new transmission of HIV/AIDS is on the increase among never been married, young males and females.
The director-general of NACA, Gambo Aliyu, at a press conference attended by Legit.ng in Abuja said the agency in collaboration with development partners, has been working tirelessly in coming up with strategies to halt the spread of the HIV virus and sustain the epidemic.
A New Model for the Analysis of the Disease Transmission
Aliyu said it is for the mode of transmission that contributes a greater chunk of new HIV infection in the country was first conducted in 2009 and repeated using an updated model – the Incidence Pattern Model.
The new report is titled; "The Mode of Transmission (MoT) Of HIV in Nigeria Study."
He said the new model was done to support efforts geared towards preventing new HIV infections using information that was accurate and clearly show where new infections are occurring and among which population group.
Using data from the 2018 Nigeria AIDS Indicator Impact Survey (NAIIS), the new study found a new group that presents the largest number of new HIV infections in the adult population is occurring among never-married females and never-married males - young people.
From the report, key sources of new infections show that 64 percent is from never-married young people; 23 percent is from mother-to-child transmission; 4 percent from female sex workers, 3 percent from men who have sex with men, and 6.3 percent from other sources.
“The next largest number of new infections occur among Female Sex Workers and Men who have Sex with Men. These four population groups account for about 91 per cent of all new infections among adults.”
He said the never-married population which is the largest source of new infections and are mostly between the ages of 17 and 34 for females and 19 and 31 for men."
A Way Forward To Ending New HIV/AIDS Transmission
Speaking on strategies adopted by NACA to reach out and cover the target population, Aliyu said the challenge is that the young ones do not connect to already existing facilities provided for accessing HIV prevention services.
“These young ones do not connect to the services; they don’t even want to listen or access these available services.
“So, our challenge is to improve coverage and we are planning to do that by going beyond the facilities and hospitals, we are extending services to communities and even at the comfort of their homes."
“Special efforts are needed to be made to reach this population in schools, workplaces, gathering spots and through social media.”
In addition to this group of persons, Aliyu said the agency would also resort to conducting home visitations to pregnant women to ensure that mother-to-child transmission is also prevented.
Aliyu added that:
“The new infections through newborns due to low coverage of PMTCT. Efforts will be targeted at encouraging women to attend ANC especially in high prevalence states.”
He also added that NACA would be making an increased effort especially for the highest risk FSW and MSM which has shown that even though the population is small, prevalence remains high among sex workers and MSM in spite of high levels of reported condom use.
In a Facebook post, NACA announced that the Jigawa/Kano state students association of the University of Abuja paid a courtesy call to the agency.
Legit.ng previously reported that NACA was commended by the Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Humphrey Geiseb.
Geiseb said NACA led by Dr Aliyu has continued to portray Nigeria as Africa's window of achievement to the world.
He also called for stronger collaboration between Nigeria and Namibia in ending the spread of HIV/AIDS across the African continent.
Also, Aliyu on behalf of the agency announced the launch of the National Domestic Resource Mobilisation and Sustainability Strategy.
The strategy, Aliyu said would help tackle Nigeria’s over-dependence on international funding needed for the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The NACA DG also said that through the strategy, the country would expand its resource base and increase domestic resources to diversify sources of funding.