Saturday , October 16 2021

Nigeria: 9.4 Million People Live Without HIV – UNAIDS Report



A new report, & # 39; Knowledge is Strength & # 39 ;, has revealed that an estimated 9.4 million people infected with the HIV virus are unconscious.

According to a report released by UNAIDS, 75 percent of all people living with HIV or 27 million people know their HIV status.

The report calls for increased efforts to reach 9.4 million people living with HIV who are not aware that they are living with a virus and about 19.4 million people living with HIV who do not have suppressed viral loads.

A new report from UNAIDS shows that increasing HIV testing and treatment efforts have reached more people living with HIV.

In order to stay healthy and prevent transmission, the HIV virus needs to be suppressed to undetectable or very low levels through sustainable antiretroviral therapy.

According to UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé, to effectively monitor viral load, people living with HIV need access to a viral load test every 12 months.

"Viral load testing is the gold standard in monitoring HIV treatment. This shows that treatment works, keeps people alive and well and keeps the virus under control," Sidibé said.

The report outlines that access to viral load tests varies; in some parts of the world, getting a viral load test is easy and fully integrated into one's HIV treatment regimen, while in other countries, there may be only one viral load machine for the entire country.

Mr Sidibé emphasized: "Viral load monitoring must be available in Lilongwe as in London.

"HIV testing and viral load testing must be the same and accessible to all people living with HIV, without exception".

The report shows that one of the biggest obstacles to HIV testing is stigma and discrimination.

Studies among women, men, adolescents and key populations revealed that fear was seen accessing HIV services, and if the person was diagnosed, fearing that this information would be shared with family, friends, sexual partners, or the wider community, preventing them from accessing HIV services, including HIV testing.

According to UNAIDS, however, access to HIV testing is basic human rights, and the UN agency HIV / AIDS said it called for a global commitment to remove barriers preventing people from testing for HIV.

Barriers include eliminating HIV-related stigma and discrimination, ensuring confidentiality in HIV testing and treatment services, and spreading a combination of optimal HIV testing strategies to reach the populations most in need.

The other is integration with other health services, removing policies and legal barriers that prevent access to HIV testing and treatment, expanding access to viral load monitoring in low and middle income countries and ensuring access to early infant diagnosis for newborns.

This report shows that implementing these measures will greatly advance progress to ensure that all people living with and affected by HIV have access to the life-saving services they need.

(NAN)


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