Unmarried men, women contribute to high rate of new HIV/AIDS transmission in Nigeria-survey

The National Agency for the Control of Aids(NACA) has established that unmarried men and women are major contributing factors to the high rate of new HIV/AIDS transmission in the Nigeria.

Penpushing reports that the Director General of the agency, Gambo Aliyu made this known, while disclosing findings of the study, adding that, a new report showed  that they contribute 64 percent, with unmarried women on the high side of the transmission of the infections

The Director General said the population, which is the largest source of new infections, is mostly between the ages of 17 to 34 for females and 19-31 for men., adding that the new largest number is prevalent among female sex workers

“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.”

Penpushing further reports that, he affirmed that the study was carried out with the Incidence Pattern Model to support efforts geared towards preventing new HIV infections using accurate information.

The agency boss added that this clearly shows where new infections are occurring and among which population group, stressing that the agency, with development partners, has been working on strategies to halt the spread of the disease and contain the epidemic.

Penpushing also reports that Aliyu  explained that the study has given the country a new direction on innovative ways to focus its attention and utilise resources to curtail the infection, adding that in view of this development a new sources of the new infections are being address with model known as Incidence Pattern Model.

“To this end, the Mode of Transmission Study (MOT), which focuses on identifying the sources of new infections in the country and was first conducted in 2009, was recently repeated, using an updated model known as the Incidence Pattern Model (IPM)’, he said.

The Director General stated that the report shows that child infections due to Mother to Child Transmission represent the second largest source of new infections, accounting for 22 per cent of all new infections,adding that  the agency would also resort to conducting home visitations to pregnant women to ensure that mother-to-child transmission is also prevented.

“The new infections through newborns are due to low coverage of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT). Efforts will be targeted at encouraging women to attend Antenatal Care (ANC) especially in high prevalence states.To reduce child infections due to Mother-to-Child-Transmission (MTCT), we must go beyond the hospital and go to the communities to deliver services.”

Penpushing  reports Aliyu while speaking on strategies adopted by National Agency for the Control of Aids(NACA) to reach out and cover the targeted population, 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.”

Penpushing further reports that, the Director General of National Agency for the Control of Aids(NACA)  said special efforts are needed to reach this population in schools, workplaces, gathering spots and through social media.

Meanwhile, record has it that the  result from the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) ,which was conducted in 2018, revealed  that about 1.9 million people under the age of 64 are living with HIV in Nigeria.

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