THERE may have been 300,000 new recorded Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) infections this year alone in Nigeria. And out of the 1.5 million Nigerians who require treatment less than 360,000 currently have access to HIV/AIDS drugs. The figures were released Wednesday by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) as civil society organisations and development partners begin mobilising for greater advocacy on the scourge ahead of the World AIDS Day on Saturday.
At present, Nigeria is rated as carrying the second highest global burden of HIV/AIDS after South Africa with about 3.1 million people living with the disease.
“As at today, less than 20 per cent of Nigerians have conducted an HIV/AIDS test,” AHF said in a statement. Country Director of the organisation, Dr. Wale Salami, said: “Given the huge gap that existed between access to, and need for, life-saving medicines and care to treat HIV/AIDS, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) and others are using the avenue of the 2012 World AIDS Day to once again call communities together from across the country, in solidarity and to build common consensus amongst stakeholders.