The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), on Friday urged Nigerians to take steps to protect themselves, especially as the country Nigeria fights against HIV/AIDS and Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Dr Gambo Aliyu, the Director-General of NACA made the appeal in a statement in Abuja while felicitating with Muslims on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir.
Aliyu appealed to Nigerians in the spirit of the celebration to avoid risky behaviour and follow all laid down protocols to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and COVID-19.
He also advised Nigerians to endeavour to know their HIV status, as it remained the gateway to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment.
‘’We should remember the lessons that come with this festive period and relate it to our individual lives as we all continue to strive to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and fight HIV/AIDS to finish in Nigeria.’’
NAN reports that HIV prevalence among adults in Nigeria is much less (1.5 per cent) than other Sub-Saharan African countries such as South Africa (20.4 per cent) and Zambia (11.3 per cent).
This implied that about 1.9 million Nigerians were living with HIV as at 2018.
Recent drops in prevalence estimates for the country has been attributed to better surveillance.
UNAIDS estimates that about two-thirds of new HIV infections in West and Central Africa in 2017 occurred in Nigeria.
Together with South Africa and Uganda, the country accounts for about half of all new HIV infections in Sub-Saharan Africa every year.
This is in spite of achieving a five per cent reduction in new infections between 2010 and 2017.