NIGERIA may not meet the United Nation’s 2020 deadline for achieving the 90/90/90 HIV/AIDS action plan. This was the fear of the stakeholders at the grand finale of the world AIDS in Anambra State.
The day was marked with a walk which commenced from the headquarters of the Anambra Broadcasting Service and terminated at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku Awka.
The 90/90/90 action stipulates that ninety per cent of the population should be tested by the year 20/20, while ninety per cent of those diagnosed positive should be on lifelong drugs by the year 20/20 and ninety per cent of those on lifelong drugs must have achieved viral suppression by the year 20/20.
This figure according to a 2017 UNAIDS report, say Nigeria out of the ninety per cent that should be tested has thirty-eight per cent, those on lifelong drugs thirty-three per cent and for those who have achieved viral suppression the report says Nigeria has no information.
According to the Executive Director, Anambra State AIDS Control Agency, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, Anambra State is working assiduously to realise the 90/90/90 target and so far, no new cases have been detected.
Dr Ibezim who is also the Special Adviser to the Governor on Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practices stated that there are various preventive activities ongoing in all the local government areas of the state, adding that unbelief in various quarters and finance are some of the challenges.
Dr Afam Anieme of the State’s Ministry of Health said over ninety-five per cent cases of HIV are caused by sexual relationship and called for more sensitisation.
He gave stigmatisation and non-disclosure as some of the major causes of the increase in the epidemic.
The Coordinator of the implementing agency, Family Health International, Three Sixty Degrees, Dr Chukwuemeka Amuta expressed worry that two years to the deadline yet Nigeria as a country has nothing to show its readiness to achieving the global target in spite of some laudable achievements recorded in the war.
He enjoined people living with HIV to always stay on their drugs.