Cross River Plans to Achieve Below 1% HIV Prevalence

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The Government of Cross River says it is planning to achieve below one per cent prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among residents of the state.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar.

She noted that the state was striving to further reduce the prevalence of the disease, has gone from six to two per cent.

She said Cross River would go below the national average of 1.5 per cent.

“What is more strategic for us is to have a next-generation that is HIV and AIDS-free, we want to be able to stop transmission.

“You know when people get tested, know their status and comply with the drug regiment; it supports them to the point where they are not able to transmit the virus from one person to the other.

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“That is the level we want to attain for those who live with it, it is a huge battle but achievable.

“Meanwhile, we encourage those that do not have the virus to protect themselves and be very aware that the disease is still by the corner,’’ Edu said.

She also appealed to the Federal Government not to concentrate on COVID-19 alone, but also look and invest in the HIV response programme.

She, however, added that people were still getting infected due to ignorance and all sorts of myths.

NAN reports that HIV which was first diagnosed in Nigeria in 1985 and reported in 1986 is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and if not treated.

This can also lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

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