Babies account for 22% of new HIV infections – NACA


Eniola Akinkuotu

10 August 2021

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NEWBORN babies account for at least 22 per cent of new HIV infections in Nigeria, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS has said.


The PUNCH was informed that in some states like Ebonyi, the statistics is actually worse as babies account for over 50 per cent of new infections.


The data is contained in NACA’s latest report titled, ‘Estimating modes of HIV transmission in Nigeria’, which was launched by the Director-General, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, in Abuja on Monday.


It reads in part, “New child infections due to mother-to-child transmission represent the second source of new infections accounting for 22 per cent of all new infections. In many states, the contribution is even large. For example, in Ebonyi State, new child infections account for more than half of all new infections.”


The report adds that Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission programme, which could stop HIV positive pregnant women from passing down the virus to their offspring, had not been as effective as it should be because only 50 to 60 per cent of pregnant women actually get ante-natal care.


“The second largest source of new infections is newborns. Coverage of PMTCT is low due to low rates of ante-natal attendance. Efforts are needed to encourage women to attend ANC especially in high prevalence states.”


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According to the study, men and women, who have never been married, account for 64 per cent of all new HIV cases.



 

The report states that female s3x workers account for four per cent of all new infections, while men who have s3x with men are responsible for three per cent of new infections.


Speaking at the presentation of the report, the Director-General of NACA, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, said efforts would be made to improve the HIV response among the groups with high prevalence rates