BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna
Communication Specialist with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Kaduna Field Office, Rabiu Musa has disclosed that about 80% of the HIV transmission in Nigeria happened through sex.
This is just as added that about 10% of infections is through blood transfusion, while the other 10% is through other routes such as Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT), Injection Drug User (IDU), use of unsterilized instruments among others.
Rabiu made the disclosure in Kachia, during a two day orientation for Religious Leaders in Kaduna State for Demand Creation and Increase Male Involvement in Anti Natal and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), of HIV meeting, adding that In 2014, Nigeria has the second highest burden of HIV in the world with an estimated 3.4 million People Living with HIV (PLHIV).
Rabiu further explained that in 2014, HIV prevalence in Kaduna state was 2.2%, according to a huge number of that were Adolescents and Young Persons (AYPs), between the ages of 10 to 19.
He said, about 160,000 AYPs are living with HIV, of which 90,000 of them are females while 73,000 are males.
He further stated that 17,000 AYPs were reported to be infected with HIV in 2013 and 11,000 died of AIDS related deaths in the same year according to National HIV Strategy for AYP 2016-2020 report.
He therefore, charged parents and caregivers to put an eye on their young children because they are very delicate at this stage of their life.
Rabiu, also emphasised on the need for religious leaders to take the campaign against HIV very serious in their places of worship so as to help in reducing the menace.
He noted that, though HIV is manageable at early stage, but it will be better and of greater good for all if it is stamped out of the society because you it’s destructive nature.
“HIV can be prevented, HIV can be successfully treated.
Accomplishing prevention and successful treatment requires the dedicated and cooperative effort of a team which comprises of the child, the family, the HIV health care team, the community, Institutions- governmental and nongovernmental and international partners.
“Be faithful to your partner, use condoms correctly and consistent. Unprotected sexual contact with an infected partner (Vaginal, anal or oral), can result to transmission.” he advised.
Contact with infected blood, blood products or body fluids: such as through a blood transfusion, Needle-Stick Injuries, Needle-sharing with injection drug users, scarring practices, Mother to child during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding, are some ways of HIV transmission he identified.
NEWS – leadership.ng