Another day, and another award that Nigeria is getting. First place by all means for what exactly? The number of babies with AIDS.
This shocking revelation comes at a time when rates of mother-to-child transmission of HIV have plummeted, even in far poorer countries. Nigeria accounted for 37,000 of the world’s 160,000 new cases of babies born with HIV in 2016. South Africa has the highest number of HIV infected people with 7.1 million and the number of infected babies was 12,000 in 2016. But in comparison with Nigeria, we had 24,000 children who died of AIDS in 2016, nearly three times as many as South Africa. The scary thing is the number may be growing based on the high infection rate, as well as the lack of access to ARVs.
“Nigeria contributes the largest burden of babies born with HIV in the world—it’s close to one in every four babies [globally] being born with HIV—and that’s really not acceptable,” says Sani Aliyu, from the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) in Abuja. However, he stated that it’s a solvable problem. There needs to be more awareness on the nature of the disease and how it spreads. On top of that we need to identify and treat the relatively small population of pregnant, HIV-infected women because those who receive ARVs rarely transmit the virus to their babies. This is a truly sad revelation but a solvable one.Read More here