No fewer than 110,849 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Taraba, the national coordinator of Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, NEPWHAN, Edward Ogenyi has said.
The national coordinator disclosed this in Jalingo yesterday at the flag off of a five-day ‘Demand Generation Activities for HIV/AIDS Service Uptake’ in the state.
Ogenyi informed that the activities were the first phase of implementation of the President’s Comprehensive Response Plan for HIV/AIDS, PCRP, funded by NACA/SURE-P HIV/AIDS Programme which was launched in July 2013.
The national coordinator noted that “Taraba HIV prevalence is 10.5 per cent which is far above National average of 4.1 per cent according to the 2013 National Reproductive Health Survey, NRHS, report.”
One of the major aims of PCRP, according to him, was to avail 80 million Nigerians the opportunity to know their HIV status, but due to limited resources Taraba and Abia were selected for the implementation of NACA/SURE-p HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support.
Explaining further, Ogenyi revealed that out of the 110,849 people living with HIV in Taraba, only 27, 000 were currently receiving treatment and only 700,000 out of the national prevalence of 3.5million were currently on treatment.
While urging the Taraba State House Assembly to prioritise HIV/AIDS in its budgetary allocation for 2016 and beyond, he noted that the gesture would enable the state government to take over the ownership of the response to save as a model for other states in the country.
Commenting, Dr Musa Obadiah, the team leader, Taraba Project Implementation on HIV/AIDS Response, disclosed that the state government had approved N500 million to fight the scourge in 2015.
The representative of NEPWHAN on State Action Committee on AIDS, SACA Board, Abraham Johnson said the committee was doing everything possible to ensure that more infected people accessed treatment in the state.
Johnson called on the people of the state to go to the nearest health facility to know their status in order to tackle the pervasive prevalence rate in the state.