FCTA Marks 2022 World AIDS Day

By: Samuel Musa & Badaru Yakasai

In order to create awareness and reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Federal Capital Territory, the FCT Administration has joined the rest of the World to commemorate the 2022 World AIDS Day.

Speaking during the occasion in Abuja, the Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS) Dr. Abubakar Tafida said the FCT Administration has rolled out key activities towards sensitising the FCT residents and also showcase the modest achievements of the FCT AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and STIs Control Programme (FASCP).

The Secretary revealed that
reports from the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey 2018 puts the prevalence rates amongst persons aged 15-64 years (general population) at 1.4%, while among adult females aged 15 to 59 years (women of child bearing age) it is 2.1% in the FCT.

Dr. Tafida disclosed that HIV/AIDS burden amongst the various programmatic control population as reflected in the Natioinal AIDS and Viral Hepatitis & STIs Control Programme (NASCP) 2021 Annual Report shows that the estimated number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the FCT is 55,744 while estimated number of pregnant women living with HIV is 2,806.

He added that these achievements were in line with the United Nations Programme on AIDS Global targets for the elimination of HIV by 2030 aimed to ensure that 95% of estimated HIV population know their status, 95% of all People diagnosed with HIV infection to receive sustained anti-retroviral therapy, 95% of all people receiving anti-retroviral therapy, attain viral load suppression.

Dr. Tafida said, “the key implemented activities towards achieving the UNAIDS Global targets were number of service delivery sites/points (SDPs) jointly implemented along with support from International Development Partners (IDP) such as Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN)-Lead IP, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) amongst others.”

“It is also important to note that FCT and 14 other states have attained 100% access to HTS among adults of people living with HIV (PLHIV) to know their status,” the Secretary reiterated.

He added that the success can be attributed to innovations and strategies such as targeted testing, index testing and other programmes introduced into HIV testing in recent times in FCT.

According to him, this has resulted in the number of children (0-14 years) living with HIV (CLHIV) who know their status to progressively increase in the last five years.

He maintained that FCT has achieved 70% of this indicator next to Kogi state with 83%.

Earlier, the Director, Public Health Department, Dr. Saddiq Abdurrahman, said FCT anti-retroviral Therapy (ART) coverage among adults
is 100% while 70% coverage was recorded in children; stressing, innovative activities are being put in place to sustain the gains so far in order to maintain a zero transmission of HIV infection in FCT.

The FASCP programme, he added is putting in more efforts to continue to implement ongoing initiatives to improve treatment adherence and quality of care towards enhanced viral load suppression among PLHIV and to sustain the achievements in FCT.