The mode of transmission of HIV in Nigerian study has revealed that the largest number of new infections in the adult population is occurring among Never Married Females and Never Married Males (Young People) while the next largest number of new infections occur among Female Sex Workers and men who have sex with men (SMS).
The four population groups account for about 91 per cent of all new infections among adults, the study revealed.
Speaking during dissemination meeting of the report yesterday, in Abuja, the director-general of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu, said the study, which focuses on identifying the sources of new HIV infections in the country and was first conducted in 2009, was recently repeated using an updated model known as the Incidence Pattern Model.
This, he said, was done to support efforts geared towards preventing new HIV infections using information that was accurate and clearly showed where new infections were occurring and among which population group.
According to him, the key populations, which represent less than two per cent of the total population, account for about 11 per cent of new infections.
Gambo stated that child infections, due to mother-to-child transmission, represent the second largest source of new infection accounting for 22 per cent of all new infections.
He said, “In many states, child infections account for an even larger proportion, up to 50 per cent.
“Though Nigeria is working hard to close these gaps, the findings of this study will further help the Agency and partners redirect resources for maximum yields as we look forward to attaining epidemic control with more targeted interventions.”
The DG indicated that efforts would be made to target the key population group, which includes the never married population, being the largest source of new infections and is mostly between the ages of 17 to 34 for females and 19-31 for men.
He noted that special efforts are needed to be made to reach the population in schools, workplaces, gathering spots and through social media.
He also said that efforts would be targeted at encouraging women to attend ANC, especially in high prevalence states.