The latest National Aids Indicator Impact Survey (NAIIS) has revealed that out of 178,051 persons living with HIV/AIDS in Akwa Ibom state, only 52,780 are on sustained antiretroviral treatment while 125,271 are yet to access it.
The survey further indicated that though the state has recorded a significant drop in HIV prevalence to 5.5 per cent from 10.8 per cent in 2013, about 5.5 per cent of the people between the ages of 15 and 64 are not all on regular treatment.
These were contained in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr Patrick Essiet and sent to journalists in Uyo, the state capital on Friday.
“The recent National AIDS Indicator Impact Survey (NAIIS) has revealed that Akwa Ibom State has witnessed a significant drop in the prevalence of HIV from 10.8% (ANC Survey 2013) to 5.5% (NAIIS 2018) i.e. 5.5% of people aged 15-64 years are estimated to be infected with the virus.“This puts the number of persons living with HIV in Akwa Ibom State at 178,051 out of which 52,780 persons are currently on sustained antiretroviral treatment.“A significant number of persons in the state are yet to know their HIV status and 125,271 persons infected with HIV will need to be
diagnosed and placed on lifelong therapy.”
Essiet said the state government has reiterated its determination and commitment to removing user fees for all HIV-related services.
He said removal would address all barriers to treatment by People Living with HIV and AIDs in the State.
He warned health workers to be properly guided by the removal adding that “there will be consequences for non compliance to the directive”
The statement added that the measure was announced when a team from Office of the Global AIDs Coordinator, Washington DC, paid a courtesy call to the commissioner for health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong.
The team according to the statement was led by Bill Paul – Nigerian Chair, Deputy Coordinator for Program Quality; Lisa Baldwin – Division Chief, Health Team Leader, Africa Bureau, United State Agency on International Development Headquarters; Tedd Ellerbrock – Global Care and Treatment Lead, Centre for Disease Control Headquarters Atlanta, USA; Emilo Dirlikov of CDC Nigeria; Dr. Chris Obanubi of USAID Nigeria and Dr Hadiza Khamofu – SIDHAS DCOPT among others.