The Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr. Gambo Gumel Aliyu has stated that about 350,000 people were identified as carriers of the Human Immune Virus (HIV).
During an interview with Punch Newspaper, Dr. Gambo Aliyu stated that during the pandemic, the agency was able to identify a huge number of people living with the virus. He explained that the country was able to develop a survival strategy that enables it to cope with the pandemic and HIV management simultaneously.
According to him, the pandemic affected the HIV response minimally in the beginning. He stated that the agency realized they were now dealing with two pandemics; HIV and COVID-19.
Aliyu said, “COVID-19 affected HIV response very minimally in the beginning. However, after the first and second months, HIV response came back to life. This is one thing that Nigeria did well that so many countries didn’t.
“Eventually, we realized that we are dealing with two epidemics, we created a survival strategy and ensure that there is no setback.
“On an annual basis, we identify and bring to treatment about 50,000 individuals, but during the COVID-19 period – the last 18 months, we are able to bring to treatment 350,000 people who have not been identified in the past. We identified 350,000 people during the pandemic and they got HIV treatments. This is something that no other country has done that except Nigeria.