A/Ibom Experiences 8%  Drop In HIV Rate, Study Reveals

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BY DOYIN OJOSIPE, Abuja

A recent survey released by the Akwa-ibom state has revealed a huge drop in the overall prevalence rate of HIV from 10.8  to 2.8 percent.

The study, which was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was a collaborative effort between the State Government and USAID flagship HIV/AIDS and TB project

Strengthening Integrated Delivery of HIV/AIDS Services (SIDHAS), which is implemented by FHI 360.

in conducting the study which took place between April and June 2017, a population based cross-sectional survey was carried out across the 31 Local Government Areas in the state,

A total of 4,313 households were sampled while 7,791 children and 9,145 adults totalling 16,936 people, were tested for HIV.

The survey revealed that the HIV prevalence among children 0 to 14 years was 0.4 percent while the prevalence among persons 15 years and older was 4..8 percent.

It further revealed a 0.41 percent annual incidence of HIV among adults ages 15 years and older. The number of new infections was said to be closely similar in females as in males (0.41% among females and 0.42% among males).

However, the HIV incidence in ages 15- 19 years was higher than the rest of the age groups; translating to nearly half of the new HIV infections occurring in the adult population.

Speaking during the unveiling of the findings of AKAIS during a dissemination meeting of HIV/AIDS stakeholders, in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, acknowledged the funding from USAID through the SIDHAS project in the implementation of AKAIS and reiterated that the survey presents an opportunity for the state to more accurately estimate the current HIV/AIDS prevalence and incidence and better guide the HIV/AIDS response.

He urged all stakeholders to use the findings of the survey to plan future programs for HIV control in Akwa Ibom state.