The Federal Government has released the 2012 National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey-Plus which indicates that Nigeria now has HIV prevalence rate of 3.4 per cent.

The annual survey, which was conducted to monitor the HIV/AIDS epidemic among the country’s population, also monitors other sexual and reproductive health indicators.

Rivers State is leading other states of the country with a prevalence rate of 15.2 per cent.

The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Sani Bala, at the national dissemination of the findings of the survey in Abuja on Thursday, said the results from the survey was a reflection  of the efforts  by the Federal Government in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country.

The survey indicated that, “Compared with the 3.6 per cent in 2007, about 3.4 per cent of Nigerians are currently living with HIV/AIDS,  with 3.2 per cent in urban and 3.6 per cent in the rural areas; 2.9 per cent among young people aged 15-19 years.”

Taraba State ranked second with a prevalence rate of 10.5 per cent, followed by Kaduna State with 9.2 per cent; Nasarawa state, 8.1 per cent and the Federal Capital Territory with 7.5 per cent.

Ekiti State, however, has the lowest prevalence rate of 0.2 per cent; Zamfara State, 0.4 per cent; Bauchi State, 0.6 per cent; and Ogun State, 0.6 per cent.

The Rivers State government however expressed doubts over the statistics

Speaking to journalists, the Technical Assistant to the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nyemenim Michael said, “Rivers state has had a prevalence rate of 3.1per cent but today, we are seeing a prevalence rate of 15.2 per cent. We are terribly worried and alarmed by these figures. This is because, to the best of our knowledge, these figures do not reflect the true health position. Not from our hospital services, not from activities we have in our outreach programmes.”

Meanwhile, the Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance Survey has said the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate among the rank and file of the Nigeria Police is now below the national average.

The IBBS showed that the rate dropped to 2.6 per cent in 2010, compared to 3.5 per cent in 2007.

The National Coordinator, Police Action Committee on AIDS, Dr. Grace Okudo, a Commissioner of Police, disclosed this in interview with journalists on Friday in Abuja.

She said, “We are proud to tell you that the efforts by the Nigeria Police Force to keep its rank and file free from HIV/AIDS are yielding fruits. The HIV prevalence in the Nigeria Police was 3.5 per cent in 2007. But because of our consistent efforts, it reduced to 2.6 per cent in the 2010, which is far below the national average.”

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