As part of activities commemorating World Aids Day 2018, an annual HIV awareness campaign, the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a global nonprofit focused on getting rid of AIDS through advocacy is set to provide free HIV screening test across six states of Nigeria; including Abuja, Anambra, Cross-River, Kogi, Benue, and Nasarawa state, respectively.
Knowing HIV status remains a crucial entry point to accessing life-saving treatment or evaluating the best treatment and prevention options. In cognizance of the poor attitude to HIV testing in many parts of the world, this year`s World AIDS Day themed: “Know your status,” seeks to encourage everyone to know their HIV status.
Similarly, in commemoration of the World AIDS Day 2018, AHF is set to provide free HIV screening test to 50, 000 Nigerians and distribute 300, 000 condoms across the country as part of efforts towards eradicating the HIV virus in Nigeria, reports Leadership, a Nigerian daily.
“This is consistent with the mandate of the AHF to support and contribute to the eradication of HIV/AIDS out of Nigeria through supporting the effort the Nigerian government through the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA),” said Dr. Echey Ijezie, AHF’s country program coordinator in Nigeria.
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The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) report shows that Nigeria accounted for two-third of new HIV infections in West and Central Africa in 2017 with only a few adolescents reported to have tested regularly for HIV. Currently, 6.1 million people are living with HIV in West and Central Africa with many not knowing their status. Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world and one of the highest rates of new infection in sub-Saharan Africa.