The National Coordinator, National HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and STI Control Programme, Ministry of Health, Adebobola Bashorun, on Tuesday, said HIV/AIDS has dropped to an endemic stage in the country.
This, he said was because the spread of the disease had been contained as well as the stigmatization of those who tested positive for the disease.
He also explained that the availability of drugs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS has also contributed to a decrease in the prevalent rate of the disease in the country.
Bashorun spoke on Tuesday in Abuja during a press briefing to herald the three days National Training of Trainers on WHO-approved Standard Q HIV 1& 2 Rapid Test Kit in Nigeria
He said, “We have three classifications of a disease outcome or disease events. We have what we call endemic, like Malaria, it is living with us. We have an epidemic which means it has gone beyond the expected rate for that period. Then pandemic which is global.
“When HIV started, it was an epidemic in a few places. They just started seeing cases that they’ve never seen, later it became a pandemic. It was everywhere in the world. At this stage that we are, it is endemic. This is because we’ve been able to control the spread, we’ve been able to control the stigma, how people see it as something dangerous because now we have treatments for cure. Treatment means you have a treatment that can maintain it. ”
He encouraged Nigerians to carry out regular tests to know their HIV/AIDS status, adding there are treatments available to contain the disease.
“There is treatment now. So, people should come out to know their HIV status at the same time, ” he said.
On the training, Bashorun said it would ensure the right usage of the product and also to monitor its performance and operational effectiveness on the field.
He said,” Following the ToT over 900 additional testers would be trained across the 774 LGAs through regional training in all the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The training starts on Thursday, November 23, 2023, in Abuja.”