300,000 Nigerians infected with the HIV virus in 2012'

About 300,000 persons have been infected with the deadly HIV virus in Nigeria since the beginning of 2012.

Also, only 360,000 out of about 3.1 million Nigerians living with the deadly disease have access to treatment while about 1.5 million Nigerians infected with the virus require treatment.

The Country Director of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Dr. Wale Salami, made this known while speaking on the efforts of the organisation to mobilise community action to expand and meet the needs of infected persons in commemoration of the 2012 World AIDS Day scheduled for December 1.

Salami expressed regrets that currently, less than 20 per cent of Nigerians had conducted an HIV/AIDS test, adding that the country now carried the global burden of being the second highest with infections of HIV/AIDS after South Africa.

He said, “Sadly, in Nigeria, this year alone, the country has recorded about 300,000 new HIV infections.

“As you are aware, Nigeria now carries the second highest global burden of HIV/AIDS after South Africa with about 3.1 million persons living with the disease.”

The AHF country director stated that the organisation was poised to join other partners in reducing new HIV infections, stamping out HIV based discrimination and AIDS related deaths to zero.

He added, “Given the huge gap that existed between access to, and need for life-saving medicines and care to treat HIV/AIDS, AIDS Healthcare Foundation is using the avenue of the 2012 World AIDS Day to once again call communities together from across the country, in solidarity, and, to build a consensus amongst stakeholders, while paying tribute to the millions of people living with HIV/AIDS, and, to celebrate victories that are allowing more people to live longer and healthier lives.”

Meanwhile, the Ekiti State AIDS Control Agency has taken the war against HIV/AIDS to the physically and mentally challenged pupils in the state.

The Programme Manager of SACA in the state, Dr. Charles Doherty, during a workshop organised by the agency for pupils and teachers of the School for the Physically and Mentally Challenged in Ido-Ekiti on Friday, said it became imperative to teach the special pupils basic facts on HIV/AIDS in order to prevent the spread of the virus among them.

The Community Mobilisation Officer of SACA, Remi Ajayi, said the wife of the Governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, who is the chairperson of the agency, was concerned about the need to educate the special pupils on how to prevent the virus.

According to him, the blind, the deaf as well as the physically challenged need to be taught to abstain from sex and how to prevent the transmission of HIV.

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