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Over 600,000 HIV positive persons don’t know their status – Minister


Calls For Increased Testing To Identify Patients

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has said about 600,000 people infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Nigeria who do not know their status.

Current data reveals that Nigeria has 1.9 million persons infected with HIV, with about 1.1 million out of 1.71 million people knowing their status, and are on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART).

Speaking at the dissemination of Omega Visitec CD4 Rapid Test Kit Laboratory based Evaluation Report, yesterday, in Abuja, the minister said preliminary results from the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) indicate that the country has made significant progress in HIV control, and was on course to meet UNAIDS global 90-90-90 targets, namely: to ensure that 90 percent of people, who are infected with HIV know their status, 90 percent of those, who know their status receive ART and 90 percent of those on ART are virally suppressed.

Ehanire, however, observed that to meet the target for the first 90, Nigeria needs to test and identify up to 600,000 HIV positive persons by December 2020.

He said the nation’s goal for the second 90 is to have 1.53 million PLWHIV on ART by December 2020.

Managing Director of Euro-Specs International Nigeria Ltd, exclusive distributor of Omega Visitec CD4 Rapid test kit in Nigeria, Alhaji Majekodunmi Aborode said the kit was very useful, considering that in poor settings and many hard to reach areas, many HIV positive patients do not have access to CD4+T cells measurement to aid management of HIV infection as Flow Cytometry, which is the established standard method for CD4 testing, is only available in centralised laboratories.

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