NIGERIA HIV/AIDS NEWS
75 thousand Nigerians on antiretroviral therapy
July 17, 2006 :: O'Femi Kolawole Nigeria-AIDS.org
About 75,650 Nigerian are currently receiving antiretroviral therapy in about 75 treatment centers across the country.
According to the recently released 5 -Year Consolidated Treatment Report, the number of ART sites in the country increased from 25 in 2002 to 35 in 2005 and then to 75 in June 2006. The number of PLWH currently on ART according to the report is 72, 650 while number of persons accessing PMTCT in the country stands at 100, 000.
Released by The National AIDS and STD Control Programme (NASCP) and presented at the Expanded Theme Group Meeting held the report covers the period of 2002 to mid 2006, consololidated treatment report gives a situational analysis of HIV/AIDS treatment and care activities in the country.
Interestingly, while all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT had at least one treatment site, only Jigawa had none at all.
The report also notes that the number of people receiving palliative care through AIDS Relief, GHAIN, Columbia University and IHVN, when combined, is 97, 701.
The number of people accessing voluntary counseling and testing, was put at 201, 378, an indication that many Nigerians are still jittery about going for HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing towards knowing their status. And so far, a total of 1,499 health workers have been trained as at June 2006.
Grey areas, which must be critically addressed in the national treatment response, according to the report, include the over-concentration of partnerís activities in some states, and the increasing rate of resistance to drugs by PLWH on the treatment programmes.
Moreover, the lack of a unified identity system in tracking those on ARVs, the non-availability of functional structures, unstable power supply and equipment maintenance, as well as low level of adherence are some of the challenges which the report listed as confronting HIV/AIDS treatment programme in the country.