200,000 HIV Positive Nigerians On The Loose, 1.7m Identified

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has revealed that it has identified 1.7 million out of 1.9 million Nigerians living with HIV.

Mr Alex Ogundipe, its Director, Community Prevention, Care and Support Services told newsmen in Calabar on Wednesday that at least 1.7 million infected people have had been enrolled for treatment.

‘Our mandate is to identify people living with the virus; there are supposed to be about 1.9 million Nigerians.

‘It is our responsibility to identify and enroll all of them for care and I believe we are doing well because we have identified 1.7 million of them.

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‘NACA is on the right path in terms of its mandate to coordinate activities on HIV response.

‘You must be objective on how you rate or assess yourself. You must ask: is the assessment from the eyes of those who give you money, those of beneficiaries of your services or those other partners?

‘These are the criteria we check once in a while to help fine-tune our services,’ he said.

While commenting on the moribund nature of State Agencies for the Control of AIDS (SACA), Ogundipe maintained that SACA was not a branch of NACA as it belonged to states.

He explained that it was the responsibility of NACA to train, guide, and give policy direction to SACA officials.

Finally, he appealed to the state governments to fund them and ensure they carry out HIV response services.